“…the celestial tree of love…”

I think we all have known the feeling that we finally understand love.

I think we all have known the feeling that we’ll never understand love.

I think most folks have had periods when they’ve oscillated between these states—sometimes within hours or minutes of each other…

My personal experience is that the only reliable and fertile understanding of love is what our highest spiritual traditions have bestowed.

Today’s Excerpts:

O SON OF LOVE! Thou art but one step away from the glorious heights above and from the celestial tree of love. Take thou one pace and with the next advance into the immortal realm and enter the pavilion of eternity. Give ear then to that which hath been revealed by the pen of glory.

Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Persian #7

The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord.

Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, “Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr” or “Words of Wisdom”, p. 155

Be most loving one to another. Burn away, wholly for the sake of the Well-Beloved, the veil of self with the flame of the undying Fire, and with faces joyous and beaming with light, associate with your neighbor.

Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Selection CXLVII, p. 316

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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Mercy . . .



Just a brief exploration of mercy from a few of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions:

Mercy is what we get when faults are overlooked.

That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 35 – The Creator

Justice itself can be a Mercy.

God, however, as has been pointed out in the very beginning of these pages, does not only punish the wrongdoings of His children. He chastises because He is just, and He chastens because He loves. Having chastened them, He cannot, in His great mercy, leave them to their fate. Indeed, by the very act of chastening them He prepares them for the mission for which He has created them. “My calamity is My providence,” He, by the mouth of Bahá’u’lláh, has assured them, “outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy.”
Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 115

Sometimes, humans use apparent mercy to entrap others.

Therefore, the truly great man does not injure others and does not credit himself with charity and mercy.
Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang tr)

We certainly could use more human mercy in our world !

Bounty waits on squalid hunger, gifts dispel the suppliant’s fear,
Gold revives the poor and lowly, mercy wipes the mourner’s tear,
Tender care relieves the stricken by the gracious king’s command,
Charity with loving sweetness spreads her smile o’er all the land!
Hindu, Mababharata (R. Dutt, abridged tr)

It’s our duty as spiritual beings to be merciful.

This is the hour when ye must associate with all the earth’s peoples in extreme kindliness and love, and be to them the signs and tokens of God’s great mercy. Ye must become the very soul of the world, the living spirit in the body of the children of men.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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Detachment Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry…

“We can appreciate without attaching ourselves to the things of this world. It sometimes happens that if a man loses his fortune he is so disheartened that he dies or becomes insane. While enjoying the things of this world we must remember that one day we shall have to do without them.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 134

I’m featuring two recent posts from UrbanMonk.net, both dealing with the widely recognized (and, frequently misunderstood) spiritual principle of Detachment.

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The first post, Attachment: Understanding the Origen of Human Suffering, contains these ideas:

“This teaching is marvelous, for there is nothing in there that cannot be verified simply by looking into your own experience. Look deeply into your own life, the times you have cried, the times you have raged. What was the cause of it all? The next time you are in pain, pause, and look. Ask yourself – why? What am I holding on to?

“Without attachment, suffering does not exist. Let go of your attachments, little by little. By and by you will see the freedom, the happiness that is there.”

“We have spent so much of our lives, every waking moment, following desire. We expend huge amounts of energy and time; we make extreme sacrifices, in the hope of finding happiness by attaining them. But as Lorne Ladner says in The Lost Art of Compassion, rarely does it occur to us the very way we go about seeking happiness has been causing our problems.”

There is much more of interest !

Part Two, How Our Cravings and Attachments Cause Our Pain and Suffering, goes even deeper into this vital spiritual principle:

“…when we crave, when we cling, we do not see people as they are. We are projecting our neediness, our sorrows – all the garbage inside us – onto them. And it is an insult. For them not to be seen as a human being; but for what they can do for us. Make me feel good, make me feel loved, make me feel safe, feed me, take care of me, impress my friends. That is all they are reduced to – a function, a service.

“And it is just as likely they are doing it to us too, and then what do we have? Not two human beings together, but two images, two roles, two cardboard cut-outs. Where has the humanity gone? This is so cruel, and yet so painstakingly common that it simply seems normal.”

“A rich man could have everything he wanted, and enjoy them all the more without the cravings, the attachments. There is nothing wrong with having most of the things we desire. Naturally, some cravings are just plain nasty – wanting to hurt another person is a fine example. But if you want money, or love, or any of those, then go for it. Does removing your attachment to health mean you stop exercising, stop looking after yourself?

“Most definitely not! Chasing new joys, setting new goals, all of these can still be pursued, but from a place of freedom, and not from the unease of craving.”

There is also much more of interest in this second post of the series !

Reading the full articles would reap great spiritual profit;  just be careful you don’t become attached to what’s said… 

“Our greatest efforts must be directed towards detachment from the things of the world; we must strive to become more spiritual, more luminous, to follow the counsel of the Divine Teaching, to serve the cause of unity and true equality, to be merciful, to reflect the love of the Highest on all men, so that the light of the Spirit shall be apparent in all our deeds, to the end that all humanity shall be united, the stormy sea thereof calmed, and all rough waves disappear from off the surface of life’s ocean henceforth unruffled and peaceful.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 87


How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

“O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is following you…”

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209

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My last post was based on what I consider to be truth. However, one study by one organization may not be convincing to those who (for various reasons…) deny there’s a global climate crisis.

So, to add more ingredients to the soup, here are a comment from one of the world’s most popular blogs,  a complete catalog of responses to denialists from an environmental news and commentary blog, and a link to an actual brick-and-mortar institution that focuses on the earth’s climate.

Cory Doctorow at BOINGBOING:

“Have you noticed that whenever you mention climate change online a bunch of people show up with identical objections — almost as though there was a list of talking points somewhere on the Internet that astroturfers and denialists used to derail discussions of the most grave existential crisis facing the human race today?”

He then quotes GRIST:

“Below is a [set of links to] the articles in “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. There are four separate taxonomies; arguments are divided by:”

* Stages of Denial
* Scientific Topics
* Types of Argument
* Levels of Sophistication


And, for those enamoured by a more scientific approach:

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization known around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Worldwatch research is the gold-standard for sustainability analysis for decision makers in government, civil society, business, and academia.”


Think Globally ~ Act Locally

You Be The Judge

First Statement:

1 July 1912

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York

“The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 37

Second Statement:

“Strive as much as possible to become proficient in the science of agriculture, for in accordance with the divine teachings the acquisition of sciences and the perfection of arts are considered acts of worship.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 144

Third Statement:

Late 1990s

“It has been estimated that without the use of pesticides food production would drop by 40%, resulting in both a dramatic increase in food costs and the associated problems of starvation.”

Fourth Statement:

Wikipedia

“Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, fertilizers, labour, or labour-saving technologies such as pesticides relative to land area. This is in contrast to the concept of Extensive Agriculture which involves a low input of materials and labour with the crop yield depending largely on the naturally available soil fertility, water supply or other land qualities.”

Fifth Statement:

March 2001

“Imagine the surprise of going online and discovering that the vitamin and mineral content of vegetables has drastically dropped….Some of the differences in vitamin and mineral content were enormous–a 50% drop in the amount of calcium in broccoli, for example. Watercress down 88% in iron content; cauliflower down 40% in vitamin C content–all since 1975.”

Sixth Statement

June, 2008

“Global food prices are expected to rise further as world leaders failed to take concrete actions to reverse the trend. “

Seventh Statement:

June, 2008

Hungry Farmers Urge Local Control over Food

“…they emphasized the importance of protecting the land, water, and seeds rights of communities necessary to grow food… [to] guarantee a dignified future to peasants and indigenous people….Otherwise, the farmers said, the poor in their communities would remain at the mercy of the large corporations that dominate agricultural production now and are largely responsible for the spiraling price of staple foods across the planet. “

Call In The Jury !


Verse Five

This post is one in a series. All poems are from my free-to-download book, Is Your Soul In Here ? I’ll keep the series going as long as interest is shown through your comments. If there are enough comments, I’ll publish them in their own post !

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Imperious

“Back so
Soon with
Scars so
Fresh,
Willing to be
Pressed against the
Sharp
Edge of
Pain?”

“Howling yet from
Severance
Won and
Sacrifice obtained by
Standing in the
Prow of
Life and
Facing every
Tempest hot, I turn
Again and
Lay it down—my
Blood a warming
Storm of
Victory.”


Verse Four

This post is one in a series. All poems are from my free-to-download book, Is Your Soul In Here ? I’ll keep the series going as long as interest is shown through your comments. If there are enough comments, I’ll publish them in their own post !

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Lament

“Loving her now is
Suffering you say, so
Quit man!”

“Nay, my heart
Cannot, she’s my
Soul’s
Touché…”