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Living a Spiritual Life: 7. Six Essential Requisites for Spiritual Growth Rodney H. Clarken Copyright © 2011
Module Objective You will be able to name the six essential requisites to spiritual grow and say briefly what they are, why they are important and how you might practice them. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20152
What does essential mean?essential 1.Constituting or being part of the essence of something; inherent. 2.Basic or indispensable; necessary: Synonyms: Incapable of being dispensed with: indispensable, necessary, needful, required, requisiteindispensable necessaryneedfulrequired requisite © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20153
What does requisite mean?requisite 1.Something that is indispensable; a requirement. Synonyms: Incapable of being dispensed with: essential, indispensable, necessary, needful, required.essentialindispensablenecessary needfulrequired © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20154
What does spiritual mean?spiritual American Heritage Dictionary American Heritage Dictionary definition: 1.Of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things 2.(of a person) Not concerned with material values or pursuits 3.Of or relating to religion or religious belief See synonyms at immaterial.immaterial © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20155
From where do the six essential requisites come? The Universal House of Justice identified six essential requisites for spiritual growth in a September 1, 1983 message. This presentation takes excerpts from that message and discusses the what, why and how of these requisites to assist us in applying them to our lives. Later, we will discuss each requisite in a separate module. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20156
Who gave the essential requisites for spiritual growth? Bahá'u'lláh has stated quite clearly in His Writings the essential requisites for our spiritual growth, and these are stressed again and again by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His talks and Tablets…. they represent the path towards the attainment of true spirituality that has been laid down by the Manifestation of God for this age. (cont.) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20157
“One can summarize them briefly in this way: 1. The recital each day of one of the Obligatory Prayers with pure-hearted devotion. 2. The regular reading of the Sacred Scriptures, specifically at least each morning and evening, with reverence, attention and thought. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20158
3. Prayerful meditation on the Teachings, so that we may understand them more deeply, fulfill them more faithfully, and convey them more accurately to others. 4. Striving every day to bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the Teachings. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/20159
5. Teaching the Cause of God. 6. Selfless service in the work of the Cause and in the carrying on of our trade or profession.” (Universal House of Justice, 9/1/83) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201510
Use a verb to describe each essential requisite /5/2015© Rodney H Clarken11
A verb for each essential requisite of spiritual growth 1. Pray 2. Read 3. Meditate 4. Strive 5. Teach 6. Serve 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken12
Remembering the Six Essential Requisites Can you remember the six essential requisites for spiritual growth? As these six daily practices are the core of our spiritual development, being able call them to mind it important. There are several techniques that can help you memorize. On the next slide, I will share an acronym to help you remember these six requisites. 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken13
An Acronym for Remembering the Six Essential Requisites: PRISMS Pray Read Instruct/Teach Strive Meditate Serve © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201514
What is a prism?prism Britannica Concise Encyclopedia :Piece of glass or other transparent material cut with precise angles and plane faces. Prisms are useful for analyzing and refracting light (see refraction). A triangular prism can separate white light into its constituent colors by refracting each different wavelength of light by a different amount. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia refraction wavelength 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken15
These requisites are like a prism They take the white light of God or the Holy Spirit and make it visible to us in the colors of the spectrum. Through them we get to see, experience, reflect and know God. Each requisite creates or reveals a different color. Together they combine to create pure light that illumines our souls and the true path to spirituality. 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken16
Another way of looking at the prism Is to think of it as translating the knowledge, love and power of God into visible light that can cause the virtues to grow in the world and our souls. (See next slide.) 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken17
Truthfulness Unity Trustworthiness Forbearance Kindliness Sincerity Wisdom Purity Righteousness Justice Courtesy Detachment Selflessness Generosity Humility Compassion Creation of Virtues (Fruit) through LOVING heart KNOWING mind WILLING hand PRISMSPRISMS © Rodney H Clarken 5/5/201518
In the remainder of this module we will have one slide each to describe what each requisite is, why it is important and how you might practice it. We will follow this module with a separate module for each of the six requisites. Before we start, name them using PRISMS. 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken19
Prayer: What is it? Supplication, spiritual communion and conversation with God. Like rain pouring down on plant. Highest prayer is for the love and will of God. Obligatory prayers are invested with special power and are the focus of this essential requisite. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201520
Why pray? Not to fulfill desires, but be in accord with God. It is absolutely indispensable to inner spiritual development. It cultivates a sense of spirituality. Draws us nearer to and causes a connection and association with God. If the prayer is in accord with divine wisdom, it will be answered. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201521
How to Pray? Say one of the Obligatory Prayers each day according to the instructions given. With a PHD: Pure-Hearted Devotion or Purity, Humility & Detachment. In private and free from care, combined with love, meditation, thought and action. Direct prayers to God through the Manifestation. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201522
Reading: What is it? 2. The regular reading of the Sacred Scriptures, specifically at least each morning and evening… “The prime requisite is the eagerness and love of sanctified souls to read the Word of God. To read one verse, or even one word, in a spirit of joy and radiance, is preferable to the perusal of many Books.” (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Q & A 68, p. 126) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201523
Why read? To be endowed with new life, understanding and ability: to feel, think and act better. To open our hearts, which in reality are the doors of heaven. To discover pearls of great price, solve problems, be faithful to the Covenant of God and of service to humanity. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201524
How to read? At least each morning and evening with Reverence -admiration, veneration Attention -concentration, consideration Thought -reflection, contemplation (to remember, try the acronym RAT or ART) Read so not overcome by languor and despondency, but rather to lighten and uplift soul. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201525
Meditation: What is it? Prayer is talking to a higher power; meditation is listening to it. Speaking with our own spirit, putting questions to it and receiving answers. Like a mirror, reflects what it is turned to. Pondering in our hearts the sacred scriptures and tasting their sweetness. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201526
Why meditate? so that we may understand the Teachings, more deeply, fulfill them more faithfully, and convey them more accurately to others.” (to remember think of the acronym CUFf: To Convey more accurately, Understand more deeply, Fulfill more faithfully) For inspiration and knowledge about unknowns, sciences, arts and inventions. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201527
How to meditate? Bahá'u'lláh has specified no procedures to be followed in meditation. In privacy. Use the Greatest Name or scripture. Guard against ego, idle fancies, vain imaginations, superstitious or foolish ideas. Turn away from world and towards God. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201528
Strive: What is it? 4. Striving every day to bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the Teachings. As we strive to integrate the spiritual standards, principles and practices into our daily lives and behavior, transformative forces act upon our souls; purging, purifying and sanctifying them. It is a source of prosperity and develops you morally and spiritually. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201529
Why strive? To increase our love for, knowledge of and nearness to God. To achieve greater understanding, meaning, fulfillment, purpose, happiness, joy, power, love, purity, radiance and efficiency of character. Abiding by spiritual laws and principles, like physical laws, is essential for well- being and happiness. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201530
How to strive? Turn every stumbling block into a stepping stone. Make problems and overcoming tests a means for improving character, spiritual development and happiness. Set goals and make daily effort to improve. Do not dwell on the faults and failings of others, instead discover and root out our own. Bring yourself to account each day. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201531
Instruct/Teach: What is it? 5. Teaching the Cause of God. Highest form of service to another soul. A spiritual process that requires spiritual preparation, qualities and action. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindness and goodwill. (Gleanings Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 289) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201532
Why teach? Humanity is suffering and seeking a remedy. Those who have it should share it with others. To build capacity: to teach is to learn Greatest gift of God Most meritorious of all deeds. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201533
How to teach? When the will and the desire are strong enough, the means will be found and the way opened. (Shoghi Effendi, Ind. & Teaching, #116) Before all else, teach your own self. The intention of the teacher must be pure, his heart independent, his spirit attracted, his thought at peace, his resolution firm, his magnanimity exalted and in the love of God a shining torch. (Abdul-Baha, Tablets of Divine Plan, p. 54) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201534
Service: What is it? 6. Selfless service in the work of the Cause and in the carrying on of our trade or profession. The action of helping others (Dictionary). Service in our work and Cause is a form of prayer and worship. Service to humanity is service to God. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201535
Why serve? The effects of prayer, meditation and reading are not significant unless translated into service. It is essential to our personal welfare and spiritual growth. It is a magnet that brings success and confirmations. Noblest deed, greatest blessing and highest righteousness. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201536
How to serve? Expand our service from serving self, to serving our family, then to community and finally to humanity; guided by a higher power, purpose or cause. Practice the Golden Rule. Selflessly serve. With love, pure motives and excellence, to the best of our ability for the greatest good. Think at all times of rendering service. © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201537
“The House of Justice is confident that if the believers… will conscientiously strive to increase their spirituality in the six ways outlined above, and become aware in their inmost beings that in all their services they are but vehicles for the confirming power of God, they will attract the hearts of their fellow citizens and penetrate the miasma of materialism that veils the sight of so many of their countrymen.” (9/1/83) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201538
“Effort, activity, unity and constant reliance on the power of Bahá'u'lláh will assuredly overcome all obstacles.” ( Universal House of Justice, September 1, 1983) © Rodney H Clarken5/5/201539
Use PRISMS to name the requisites of spiritual growth? /5/2015© Rodney H Clarken40
PRISMS requisites of spiritual growth 1. Pray-Obligatory prayers 2. Read-Sacred Scriptures 3. Instruct/Teach-Cause 4. Strive-High standards of Teachings 5.Meditate-Teachings 6.Serve-Cause, humanity through work 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken41
Assignment: Read/Study Read William S. Hatcher’s The Concept of Spirituality, II. The Process of Spiritual Growth, 5. Tools for Spiritual Growth (954-56), to get more and deeper background information for this and the next module.The Concept of Spirituality © Rodney H Clarken425/5/2015
Assignment: View For important foundational knowledge of developing spirituality View Clarken’s webcast Model of Human DevelopmentModel of Human Development Note: This webcast is 70 minutes long. © Rodney H Clarken435/5/2015
When ready, proceed to the next module The first in a series of six discussing the essential requisites of spiritual growth: 8. Reading 5/5/2015© Rodney H Clarken44
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