From a Baha’i Perspective
As a Baha’i, I know that my purpose in life is to move closer towards God, not the limelight. In the daily obligatory prayer it says, “I bear witness oh my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee.” It doesn’t say –‘Thou hast created me to know Thee and for other people to worship ME.”
We live in a time when we worship people, not God. Along with musicians, we worship shoes and actors, fashion and cars, material things, illusion. The All-Bountiful God is ignored, shut out, denied and His eternal existence is rationally, even scientifically argued against. Perhaps it’s a lack of connection to God that creates in people the desire to seek a form of worship – flipping it over to having others worship them? The cult of the individual in full view of us all, analogue , digital or on I-Player.
Our station – if not to be deities – is a high one though. In the Bible we are told that ‘Man is made in the image of God’, which I understand to mean that we possess the potential to reflect through our characters and actions all the spiritual qualities of God, such as trustworthiness, generosity, forgiveness and love, to name but a few.
“ Lofty is the station of man, were he to hold fast to righteousness and truth and to remain firm and steadfast in the cause. In the eyes of the All-Merciful a true man appeareth even as a firmament (heaven); it’s sun and moon are his sight and hearing, and his shining and resplendent character its stars. His is the loftiest station and his influence educateth the world of being.”
I discussed this theme and the above passage with my Dad, and he said the following, which I would like to share with you because it encapsulates this theme very nicely;
(Picture of ‘Abdul-Baha, son of Baha’u’llah)
‘Seeking loftiness is inherent in our human nature. In a materialistic society it demonstrates itself in seeking loftiness in material ways – such as fame, fortune, acquisition and status which evidently is the road to self delusion as it leads to nothing but frustration, loss, unhappiness and in some case, mental ill health. The nature of man to acquire loftiness should be related to a safer approach to God, for example, Abdul-Baha says, “Human happiness is founded on spiritual behaviour.” The happiness gained from material things can only be at best temporary and inevitably illusionary.’
Ultimately I feel that the fame sought on the ‘X Factor’ is a demonstration of the way the mass of people in the UK think; that you can only call yourself a singer if you are written into a million pound contract with a record label and that happiness and success is achieved and measured through material means. Winning a TV contest is believed to be the final chance to be, well ‘saved’ actually and is worth fighting for and even dying for on stage and on screen so that my ‘real life’, the ‘life I always dreamed of’ can begin.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could start enjoying singing for the love of music, the beauty of our voices (however cultured or rough, pure or naive) and the sense of oneness we feel when singing together as a group. Not giving up our voices on the sacrificial alter for a few weeks, or a moment of fame.
(Friends singing and playing djembe drums in Cardiff)
Singing without the glamour, illusion and delusion. Our lives made happier through the way we show more kindness, more love, more honesty and generosity, using our singing talents to serve mankind.
Everyone’s got the X Factor buried away deep inside them (maybe we all know this deep down and that’s why thousands of people audition for the TV programme year after year, however practiced or unpracticed their skill) for as Ali, the Son-in-Law of Muhammed said,
“Dost thou reckon thyself a puny form, when within thee the universe is folded?”