The Bahá’í teachings emphasize that each person is in charge of his or her own spiritual development. While institutions exist to guide and release energies, and Bahá’í community life is to be characterized by an atmosphere of cordial consultation and encouragement, the responsibility for spiritual growth ultimately rests with each individual. Indeed, there is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith; the Bahá’í community can neither be described in terms of a pastor and congregation, nor as that of a body of believers led by learned individuals endowed with authority to interpret scriptures.
“Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday.”
The dynamics of walking a spiritual path is a theme that Bahá’ís, both individually and collectively, are constantly exploring in their activities and consultations. Certain aspects are clear: that simply focusing on oneself proves counter-productive; that the path is to be walked in the company of others—each giving and receiving love, assistance and encouragement; that the tendency to allow self-righteousness to take hold needs to be conscientiously resisted; and that humility is a requisite of progress.
No soul walking this spiritual path may make a claim to perfection. Yet, the kind of relativism that condemns adherence to clearly stated ideals and principles finds no place. Each Bahá’í is asked to make daily effort to progressively reflect in his or her conduct the standards described by Bahá’u’lláh, no matter how difficult to attain they may seem.
A much more thorough explanation of Bahá’í belief on this subject, including articles and topic collections on the human soul, prayer, meditation, and the development of spiritual qualities, can be found in the section titled “The Life of the Spirit” within the “What Bahá’ís Believe” area of this website.