The course consists of several units or modules that are designed to be completed sequentially, but if you are doing the course on your own, you may proceed as you wish, taking only the modules that interest you in the order and timing that works best for you. Use the exercises throughout as you see fit to help you remember and apply what you learn. There is a series of questions and exercises in each module to help you deepen, review and assess how much you learned. Doing these should help you develop spirituality.
At the end of each module there will be assignments, generally to read, study, meditate, reflect, set goals or practice something related to the module. These assignments are to help you extend and deepen your appreciation, understanding or practice. Choose those that you find helpful, but if you do not actually do the practices, your growth will be limited.
Premises for the course
1. People are searching for meaning in life.
2. Religion has traditionally provided meaning.
3. Most people have lost faith in religion.
4. Humanity desperately needs meaning to guide it.
5. The teachings of Baha’u’llah offer a new meaning and purpose that accords with reason and today’s needs.
6. Baha’u’llah’s teachings found in the Bahá’í writings give insights into the laws of spiritual reality that lead to well being and happiness.
7. Like physical laws, these spiritual laws can be tested through experience and verified in practice using scientific approaches.
8. Spirituality is the process of translating potentiality into actuality, knowledge into action.
9. Though spirituality is innate, it must be developed.
10. Developing spirituality is a conscious, purposeful endeavor requiring effort, perseverance and practice.
11. We are personally responsible for investigating truth.
The first principle of Baha’u’llah is independent investigation of truth, that is, all the nations of the world have to investigate after truth independently and turn their eyes from the moribund blind imitations of the past ages entirely. Truth is one when it is independently investigated, it does not accept division. Therefore the independent investigation of truth will lead to the oneness of the world of humanity.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 35
12. We are to use science and religion as the standards for making judgments.
There is no contradiction between true religion and science. When a religion is opposed to science it becomes mere superstition: that which is contrary to knowledge is ignorance.
How can a man believe to be a fact that which science has proved to be impossible? If he believes in spite of his reason, it is rather ignorant superstition than faith. The true principles of all religions are in conformity with the teachings of science.
The Unity of God is logical, and this idea is not antagonistic to the conclusions arrived at by scientific study.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 141
If you are not familiar with the Bahá’í teachings, and wish more information than is available in this course, you may start with a general site like www.bahai.org or search online.