Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 23: Siamak Hariri

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode I’m in Toronto, Canada at the lovely home of award-winning architect Siamak Hariri. Siamak is the architect of the Baha’i House of Worship for South America, located in Santiago, Chile, and he talks to me about his family and how he was first drawn to architecture, some of his thoughts and inspirations behind the design of the temple and its relationship with the community, and how architecture can touch the heart. We discuss the interplay between material and nonmaterial, where things like proportion and composition are enveloped in mysticism, ideas relating to prayer, and how things like composition and refinement are important and how they’re connected to our higher aspirations. He also shares some of his understandings of the Baha’i Faith, some of his favorite Baha’i Writings, and the importance of shaping our thinking in a way that looks to the future and affects generations to come. I hope you enjoy this conversation.

To find out more about Siamak Hariri and some of the things we covered in the podcast, check out the following links:

* Here is the official site for the Baha’i House of Worship for South America: templo.bahai.cl/en

* You can find out more about Baha’i Houses of Worship here: bahai.org/action/devotional-life/mashriqul-adhkar

* Here’s the link to Siamak’s architecture firm: Hariri Pontarini Architects

* You can watch Siamak’s TED Talk here: Siamak Hariri: How Do You Build a Sacred Space?

* Siamak shares an excerpt from the following quote from the Seven Valley’s of Baha’u’llah as one of his inspirations behind the temple design:

“Whensoever the light of Manifestation of the King of Oneness settleth upon the throne of the heart and soul, His shining becometh visible in every limb and member. At that time the mystery of the famed tradition gleameth out of the darkness: “A servant is drawn unto Me in prayer until I answer him; and when I have answered him, I become the ear wherewith he heareth….” For thus the Master of the house hath appeared within His home, and all the pillars of the dwelling are ashine with His light. And the action and effect of the light are from the Light-Giver; so it is that all move through Him and arise by His will. And this is that spring whereof the near ones drink, as it is said: “A fount whereof the near unto God shall drink….”

* Siamak refers to the following two Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah:

“O SON OF BEING! Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation.” -Baha’u’llah

“O SON OF DUST! All that is in heaven and earth I have ordained for thee, except the human heart, which I have made the habitation of My beauty and glory; yet thou didst give My home and dwelling to another than Me; and whenever the manifestation of My holiness sought His own abode, a stranger found He there, and, homeless, hastened unto the sanctuary of the Beloved. Notwithstanding I have concealed thy secret and desired not thy shame.” -Baha’u’llah

* You can watch more videos about the Baha’i Temple for South America here on Temple’s Vimeo page.

* And you may enjoy these 19 Inspiring Instagram Photos of the Chile Temple.

Be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more weekly episodes on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud.

Thanks for listening!

-Rainn Wilson

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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