Here in the Chicago area, there’s a large Baha’i temple in
the northern suburb of Wilmette. There’s even an exit on I-94 that says “Baha’i
Temple”, so I’ve been curious to see it.
Yesterday after work, I took a little excursion out to the
suburb of Wilmette to see this place. I have fond memories of the Baha’i faith,
actually. During my first semester in college, the local Baha’i community had a
recruitment gathering on campus that I attended. It was my first encounter with a non-Christian faith and that
was pretty exciting to me at the time. Also, the people seemed really nice.
Baha’i for Dummies: They believe that God continually
manifests Himself through successive messengers and religions. Abraham,
Krishna, Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed were all messengers. The most recent one
was Baha’u’llah in the mid-1800s who founded the Baha’i faith in Iran. All religions
are manifestations of God; unity of humanity. It’s actually quite appealing.
Also, they seem to like apostrophes a lot.
I took the EL north to the end of the line. Five blocks
away, the temple emerged.
Oh my gosh, it’s huge! I can see why it has its own freeway exit.
All Baha’i temples are nine-sided. 9 is the highest “single”
number so it signifies the unity of religion and humanity; or something like
It’s surrounded by really pretty grounds with lots of
fountains. The place is practically a bird sanctuary. I even saw a very large deer ambling about.
And here’s a Baha’i bunny.
I took the tour in the visitor’s center, learned a lot about
them, and then sat in the temple for quite a while. I watched the sun slowly
inching its way up one of the nine sides as it set.
|Photo from Wikipedia (Photography is not allowed inside)|
Thoughts of how I was on this tiny, revolving
planet in a solar system, in a galaxy in the cosmos, and probably in an
infinite number of universes came to mind. It’s quite a tranquil place.
I didn’t want to leave.
Knowing myself, I’ll probably end up converting . . .
Labels: Baha'i Faith, Baha'i House of Worship, Chicago, Illinois, Wilmette