Our Responsibility to Society

map of archetypes

image credit

Don’t let that image fool ya. This post is about our riotous internal lives, not some bone dry realm of abstract psychology.

Even though my highest allegiance is to my Faith, I have studied quite a bit of psychology. I found my most impressive psychologist while I was studying Tarot, Astrology and the I ChingCarl G. Jung.

You can inhale the fragrance of a “Jungian” view of your personality from the site below (this is a simple test but seems to be playing in the right ballpark). Here’s my own result:

INFP – “Questor”. High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.

Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Basically, according to Jung and his theories of the unconscious, there’s a whole zoo of characters beyond our innocent faces. And, the Major task of life is to integrate this menagerie into a Self…

In a previous post, I pointed toward an important paper about treating our own internal realm as a “community”, an approach that lets us be kinder and more compassionate toward unregenerate aspects of our Whole Self.

So, what I’ve been trying to approach in this rather rambling post is an attitude toward our own internal self that lets us relate to others authentically. In the highest sense, we can talk about progressive stages of identifying our “self” to larger and more complex levels of “organization”–an ascending spiral of blossoming compassion.

Every imperfect soul is self-centred and thinketh only of his own good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens; and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race. But when ideas and views reach the utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage of perfection, then will he be interested in the exaltation of humankind. He will then be the well-wisher of all men and the seeker of the weal and prosperity of all lands. This is indicative of perfection.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 68

Tackled by Life

http://strick4life.files.wordpress.com/2006/09/paul_posluszny_tackle.jpg

image credit

I wrote a prayer-poem twelve years ago. Two years ago it came true. The title of this post, Tackled by Life, relates to this part of the prayer: “…quench my ego in Thy Will…”.

Going Higher

O sweet God,

Please take this Fire

Swirling in my breast!

Breathe

Thy Breath into my Passion.

May I have no rest from any

Fervor I may feel nor any blaze

Divine; but, quench my ego in Thy

Will and

Love this love of mine…

My recent social networking led to a psychotherapist’s blog which led to being asked to write a guest post. It relates to this tackling life can do and how it quenches ego:

Isabella Mori’s posting of my story

Spiritual Flight

Birds occupy a special place in spirituality:

“Those who bind themselves to a joy
Do the winged life destroy
But they who kiss the joy as it flies
Live in eternity’s sunrise.”

William Blake

Even humanity itself has been seen as a bird:

Two Wings of a Bird: The Equality of Women and Men

And when our spirit flags, when we are too aware of the material world, when hope takes a vacation:

“Ye are even as the bird which soareth, with the full force of its mighty wings and with complete and joyous confidence, through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came. Powerless to shake off the burden weighing on its sullied wings, that bird, hitherto an inmate of the heavens, is now forced to seek a dwelling-place upon the dust. Wherefore, O My servants, defile not your wings with the clay of waywardness and vain desires, and suffer them not to be stained with the dust of envy and hate, that ye may not be hindered from soaring in the heavens of My divine knowledge.”


Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 327

The Edge

Ever felt you were on the Edge?

Once, I felt so edgy I wrote a poem about it:

Sharp Choice

On the edge is where I live, and
Edges can be fine. So fine they
Sever wants from acts and leave no
Blood behind.
This edge I’m on comes from the
Depths—a well of yearning
Yawns—and
Severance is the
Price to
Pay for
Grace to
Carry
On…

Edges are generally created when two aspects of ourselves, or we and another (the “other” could be society) are “at odds”; when two forces are misaligned or actively in conflict.

Here’s a reference to a Supreme Edge:

Take thou good heed that ye may all, under the leadership of Him Who is the Source of Divine Guidance, be enabled to direct thy steps aright upon the Bridge, which is sharper than the sword and finer than a hair, so that perchance the things which from the beginning of thy life till the end thou hast performed for the love of God, may not, all at once and unrealized by thyself, be turned to acts not acceptable in the sight of God.

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 96

Now, to leave you with some psychology:

“Jungians believe that compensation in the service of individuation is the primary transformative function of dreams. Jung (1916a) classifies dreams in three basic categories: reactive, compensatory, and prospective. Reactive dreams simply reproduce an experience that has had a traumatic emotional impact on the psyche. According to Jung, however, most dreams are compensatory. What they compensate is the attitude of the ego in the present. The attitude of the ego is always partial and prejudicial; in the extreme case, it may be utterly defective. Jung defines the ego as identity. That is, the ego is identified with a certain attitude and is disidentified from other, alternative perspectives of which it is, for whatever reason, unconscious. Compensatory dreams challenge the ego to relate to perspectives to which it has previously been unrelated or ineffectively related. The ego may then seriously entertain, evaluate, and either accept or reject these perspectives.”

Adams, M.V. (2000). Compensation in the Service of Individuation—Phenomenological Essen… Psychoanal. Dial., 10:127-142.

Woman / Man / Art

//www.thedctraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/shakespeare-2.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

image credit


I found a wonderful site, Scribd, that lets you up and download documents.

I cruised around, uploaded five documents of my own, and ended up at a Shakespeare area. I immediately remembered my spiritual pleasure when I read Venus and Adonis, an epic poem.

The introduction starts this way (it was the 16th Century):

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY,
EARL OF SOUHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.
RIGHT HONOURABLE,
I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines
to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing
so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only, if your
honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow
to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you
with some graver labour.

And this was a man who began this work with these splendid words:

EVEN as the sun with purple-colour’d face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis tried him to the chase;
Hunting he lov’d, but love he laugh’d to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-fac’d suitor ‘gins to woo him.

//www.bahaifaithart.com/Images/Conference.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

image credit

Another very strong woman I’m familiar with is Táhirih.

Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say about her:

While in Karbala in Iraq, Táhirih started teaching her new faith. After some of the Shi`ah clergy complained, the government moved her to Baghdad.[3] There she started giving public statements teaching the new faith, and challenging and debating issues with the Shi’a clergy. At this point the authorities in Baghdad argued with the Governor that since Táhirih was Persian she should instead be arguing her case in Iran, and the authorities escorted Táhirih and a number of other Bábís out of Baghdad to the Persian border….

After the Báb’s arrest in 1848, Bahá’u’lláh made arrangements for Táhirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of Bábí leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil….

She was in her early to mid 30’s and was killed in the garden of Ilkhani in Tehran. A prominent Bábí, and subsequently Bahá’í, historian cites the wife of an officer who had the chance to know her that she was strangled by a drunken officer of the government with her own veil which she had chosen for her anticipated martyrdom. Afterwards her body was thrown into a well located in the garden.[5] One of her most notable quotes is her final utterance,

“You can kill me as soon as you like,

but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.”

Human Rights Abuse That’s Closest To My Heart…

Carl Jung, a respected psychologist, wrote a lot about synchronicity: the meaningful relationship of events that appear to have no causal connection.

I felt the meaningful relationship between

1: my blogging (on May 14 & 15) about human rights and

2: the facts of the following story.

The “closest to my heart” part of the title of this post is due to my belonging to the Baha’i Faith, as do these persecuted people…

~~~~~~~~~

Personal diary of John Barnabas (aka Barney) Leith

Baha’is arrested in Iran – grave news

The six of the seven members of the Friends in Iran, the informal group that coordinates Bahá’í activities in Iran in the absence of the formal Bahá’í administration, were all arrested in the early hours of this morning (14 May).

The Universal House of Justice, the world governing council of the Bahá’í Faith, has just sent a message advising us of this grave and distressing news.

Officers of the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran entered the homes of Mrs Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr Afif Naeimi, Mr Saeid Rezaie, Mr Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr Vahid Tizfah, conducted extensive searches and took them to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.

The seventh member of the group, Mrs Mahvash Sabet, Secretary of the Friends in Iran, has been held in custody since 5 March 2008.

Such dire action on the part of the government has not been witnessed since the heart-rending events in 1980 and 1981, when all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly (the national Bahá’í governing council) of Iran were abducted on 21 August 1980 and disappeared without a trace, following which the reconstituted National Assembly was again ravaged by the execution of eight of its members on 27 December 1981.

Since that time, the Bahá’ís in Iran have not been able to elect their Assemblies and their activities have been coordinated by small informal groups, known as Friends.

This is yet more evidence, if evidence were needed, that the government of Iran is determined to extinguish the Bahá’í Faith in the land of its birth.

You can read more about the ongoing persecution of the

Bahá’ís in Iran here.

~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a bit of response from the U. S. State Department:

Arrests of Leadership of Iranian Baha’is
We strongly condemn the May 14 arrest of six leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community– Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm–by Iranian authorities and the continued imprisonment of a seventh leader, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet. This is a clear violation of the Iranian regime’s international commitments and obligations to respect international religious freedom norms. We urge the authorities to release all Baha’is currently in detention and cease their ongoing harassment of the Iranian Baha’i community.

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Disunity is a danger that the nations and peoples of the earth can no longer endure; the consequences are too terrible to contemplate, too obvious to require any demonstration. “The well-being of mankind,” Bahá’u’lláh wrote more than a century ago, “its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” In observing that “mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to terminate its age-long martyrdom”, Shoghi Effendi further commented that: “Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of citystate, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.”

The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace

//everyhumanhasrights.org/images/photos/roosevelt.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Read the Declaration

just a few recent Human Rights Stories from around the world

The abuse of human rights councils and commissions

Human rights and motherhood

More children living in fear

Human rights group threatens to sue Chevron

Morocco: Sham Inquiry Highlights Impunity for Police Abuse

Stop blocking a UN human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka

Germany: Press for Human Rights Reform in Russia

~~~~~~~~~

READ

A BAHA’I DECLARATION OF HUMAN

OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS

Presented to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

February 1947

~~~~~~~~~