Marian Crist Lippitt Online Archive


During a one-month period in 1943 -- a new Baha'i -- Marian Crist Lippitt was being cared for in a small private hospital, at the same time as Henrietta Emogene Martin Hoagg, by the same physician. What she learned from Emogene would change the course of her life. Emogene taught Marian a way to study and understand the Baha'i Writings.

Amine DeMille, a biographer of Emogene Hoagg, wrote in an undated letter that Marian received in July 1973, that she had found an astounding entry in one of Emogene's lesson plans, in which Emogene wrote this:

"In studying anything, the most sensible way is to coordinate the material under subject heads. As our Teachings are not given us under headings, but in Tablets to individuals, in public talks, group talks and general letters, where many subjects are mentioned, we can only get a complete and comprehensive understanding by coordinating them under subject heads. I have done this... We shall find that every subject treated is relative to what Abdu'l-Baha calls 'The Conditions of Existence', and He says they are limited to three: Servitude, Prophethood, and Deity." (Some Answered Questions, p. 267, ch. LXII)

Amine DeMille continued:

"Also, [Emogene] cites p. 339 S.A.Q. where [Abdu'l-Baha] speaks of 'World of God, World of the Kingdom, and the World of Creation.' [Emogene] adds: 'We find then, when studying, that all the Teachings fit into one of these conditions of existence, and this simplifies the understanding of all the Teachings. This is one of the most positive teachings that can combat and meet the assertions and beliefs of the mystics, Theosophists, Christian Scientists, and most of the various cults existing today.'"

This system for categorizing the Baha'i Writings is what Marian learned from Emogene during their one month of time together. In retrospect Marian wrote, "Emogene Hoagg taught me an understanding of reality that made this study the most important thing on earth to me…, an Enlightenment that gradually changed my entire existence."

Peter Terry, another biographer, wrote that Emogene taught her classification system in 1937 and 1938 at Green Acre Baha'i School. This is the outline she used. Peter Terry remarked how everything in the outline's table of contents is directly from the Writings.

Further down in her letter, Amine DeMille wrote her conclusion about Emogene's system:

"Emogene Hoagg was a teacher, one of the first teachers ever to study with Abdu'l-Baha for months at a time (9 months, 6 months, etc.) and with the greatest Persian scholar of the day, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. In constant and prolonged association with the Center of the Covenant as Emogene was all her Baha'i life, this organization for her teaching method cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be called 'private interpretation.'"

In the mid-1950s, Marian, as a member of the National Reference Library Committee, wrote to the National Spiritual Assembly of the U.S.A., proposing that the "Master Index" the NSA requested the NRLC to create, be based on Emogene's system. On 9 September 1956, the NSA gave the go-ahead for Marian to proceed. Marian developed this "Master Index", with the help of a small core of volunteers, building on and expanding upon Emogene's work. The transformation she received from it inspired her to create lots of derivative products from it -- manuscripts, courses, games, charts, etc. -- to facilitate transforming how people understand themselves and the reality that we all live in.

Marian did this initially for the Baha'i community, but in her later years she focused her attention on helping humankind at large.

In the early 1980s Marian assembled a group of close Baha'i friends, and with them formed a nonprofit organization to carry on her work. Convinced that she needed a Ph.D. to be taken seriously in the academic community, she submitted her "Introduction to The Science of Reality" dissertation to Columbia Pacific University. Marian passed away shortly thereafter, on 5 February 1984.

The work started by Emogene Hoagg and Marian Lippitt continues today, carried on by those who continue to be inspired by their materials.

The purpose of this website is to set forth the information to facilitate the use of it.

Marian C. Lippitt's papers are also permanently housed in the division of Special Collections at the Green Library of Stanford University, which Abdu'l-Baha visited in 1912.