Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of God is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation. Nothing short of the spirit of a true Baha'i can hope to reconcile the principles of mercy and justice, of freedom and submission, of the sanctity of the right of the individual and of self-surrender, of vigilance, discretion and prudence on the one hand, and fellowship, candor, and courage on the other. (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá'í Administration, pp. 63-4.)
Another aspect of the new culture that Baha'is are trying to create is its openness. The Baha'i culture aspires to be open to all of the positive aspects of every local culture. It also tries to be inclusive in the sense of welcoming anyone who wishes to cooperate with the Baha'is in advancing the social principles and carrying out local plans of action formulated by the community, without necessarily becoming full members of the Baha'i community. The cluster meetings at which many of these plans are formulated are open to all. Furthermore, the Baha'i community is willing to cooperate with any other organization that is advancing such plans, provided their course of action does not involve partisan political action (which Baha'is do not take part in because of its divisive nature).
1. Does the Baha'i Faith have many set forms for its rituals and ceremonies? What is the consequence of this?
2. Describe some of the activities of the new culture or ethos that is being developed in the Baha'i community since about 1996.
3. What does it mean when it is said that the new Baha'i culture is a “culture of learning”?