Forgive me for the drippy headline pun, but it has rained so much in Southern California this week, some of us damn near needed a rowboat to get our holiday shopping done. Rainn Wilson, I forgive you for abandoning us to the floods, but I gotta ask you why a rich and famous mega TV star like yourself didn’t go straight to the Bahamas or BoraBora or some other peaceful, sun-drenched destination. No, you get a break from filming The Office and you pack your bags and head for Haifa, Israel? Isn’t that, like, one of the stormiest (politically, that is) places on Earth?
Well, since you and I aren’t BFFs like you and, say, Andy Grammer or Devon Gundry, and you’re not going to be receiving or answering any tweets or emails on “the internets” until next year, I’m not really going to get a response to my question, am I? So, I think I’m just going to eat a Soul Pancake and write about what I’m guessing you’re up to for nine days over there in the Holy Land.
In recent weeks, Rainn has been on every major media outlet in the country talking about his non-Office related project “Soul Pancake,” an interactive website and bestselling book that attempt to, in Rainn’s own words, “de-lame-ify talking about God and religion.”
Religion is a subject close to Rainn’s heart and he is very open about his belief in the Baha’i Faith, a world religion whose prophet-founder Baha’u’llah professed in 1863 that he was the return of the same Divine Spirit embodied by every other major religion’s founder including Buddha, Moses, Christ and Muhammad.
“The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity…”
“That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in this? …Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the `Most Great Peace’ shall come…” -Baha’u’llah
The Holy Land for Bahai’s is on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel near where Baha’u’llah is buried. Baha’is are obligated to visit the Shrine of Baha’u’llah at least once in their lifetime if, according to the teachings, “one can afford it and is able to do so, and if no obstacle stands in one’s way”. The nine-day pilgrimage also includes visits to the seat of the Baha’i administrative body, the Universal House of Justice. Baha’i Pilgrims (who travel to Haifa from every country on the planet and are a striking example of unity in diversity) also visit the Shrine of the Bàb, as well as other sites precious to the faith’s adherents.
Ever the comedian, Rainn’s first tweet from the Holy Land was a commentary on the hotel accommodations over there:
Rainn, as you travel to that historically blessed, yet volatile region, be safe, sleep tight and don’t let the bed…oh, uh, never mind. I hope your trip’s amazing. We’d love to hear all about it when you’re back home.
http://news.bahai.org/story/548 <more from Rainn about the Baha’i Faith