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Learner projects spring from Philosophy course video chats

Mar 1, 2021

The video chats in the Philosophy and the Bahá’í Faith course were invaluable and reminded me what I enjoy about philosophy—listening to others discuss their concepts, challenging my own, and bringing forth an idea or two.

I read all of the comments as they came to my email in daily digest form. However, there were philosophical phrases and concepts that I did not know or understand, so it was not easy for me to respond. On the other hand, if there was a concept that intrigued me, I did look it up, such as a recent discussion on what motivates one to act/behave a certain way if one is an atheist. This led me to read more about humanism through the centuries and reflect on organizations I belonged to that held core values similar to those found in the Faith.

[Doing a project] was much more intangible for me in this course compared to other courses. I find that most of the Bahá’í friends in central Texas (Round Rock, in particular) do not often dwell on the philosophical underpinnings of the Faith, unless we are studying the religious texts. As we are aging, there have been more discussions and deepenings on what it means to die and pass on to the next life—what is that reality? Perhaps I’ll learn more about how to address that subject, share the concepts with others, and learn from their reflections.

For my project, I will lead a cohort of 8 individuals (5 Bahá’ís and 3 friends of the Faith) in a group study of the 2nd edition of Some Answered Questions. I will share the relevant philosophical information from this course with the participants. That virtual-based study will take place on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am, Central Time, and will be posted on roundrockbahai.com on the front page.

Another area where I may apply some of what I learn is within an Anti-Racism group (all virtual right now) that I created in my neighborhood and extended to other personal friends. There are five of us, and I am the only Bahá’í. All of the participants are White women, and this choice was made deliberately, based on a discussion with a Black Bahá’í friend who is very emotionally tired. In the group, we have discussed ethics and “reality” as they relate to race among all of the participants. We are reading material by Blacks and Whites on this subject. Philosophical underpinnings of social relationships and humanity would be applicable to this discussion, and I will apply relevant concepts within our group’s conversations.

I have also been doing some sketching to illustrate the emotion or symbolism in some of Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings. Perhaps I’ll complete one of those pieces. 

Contributors

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Dale Rogers Ricklefs

Dale lives in Round Rock, Texas. Her profile in the Wilmette Institute's online learning center reveals that she is "focused on systematically studying the writings..." She says "Part of that is gaining a deeper understanding of the time period of the Writings, the conditions, the interweaving of other religious and spiritual concepts in the Writings, and the deeper meanings of core Bahá’í theological tenets."

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