Who Is Writing The Future ? – Part Five

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The Writings of Bahá’u’lláh that have been discussed in parts One through Four of this series are challenging to say the least—challenging to current theories about how to solve our human family’s crises—challenging, as the document this series is based on says, to social schemes that deny “a moral intelligence inherent in existence”—challenging to anyone who thinks human nature isn’t truly spiritual at its roots…

Some of the sadly mistaken ideas that plagued the twentieth century and need eradication to enable humanity to move towards its impending maturity are: unbounded individualism, dis-unifying political and economic structures, and a mindset that sees conflict as somehow “natural” for humans.

Yet, one of the most important principles that needs vast encouragement and global implementation is Justice. Justice alone can ensure that individuals receive their due from institutions and governments. And, deeply important, is the growth of a sense of personal justice (replacing individualistic complaining) that lets people see with their own eyes, hear with their own ears, feel with their own hearts, and think with their own minds—knowing that imitation in any of these areas is deadly…

Another crying need is the continuing entry of individuals into the arena of Service—going beyond self—enlarging the boundaries of self to include more and more members of our very human family.

These ideas and many more are the legacy left to humanity by Bahá’u’lláh. He put forward ideas that, in the context of the 1800s, were unthinkable. In the last century and a half, His conceptions and counsels have been adopted by progressive individuals, most of whom have never heard of Bahá’u’lláh.

I urge you to read the original document that’s inspired me to write this series of posts, Who Is Writing the Future? Reflections on the Twentieth Century. Also, you can download a Word .doc or Adobe .pdf file.

Next post will wrap up the series…

Spiritual Quote :

“The central purpose of the divine religions is the establishment of peace and unity among mankind. Their reality is one; therefore, their accomplishment is one and universal—whether it be through the essential or material ordinances of God. There is but one light of the material sun, one ocean, one rain, one atmosphere. Similarly, in the spiritual world there is one divine reality forming the center and altruistic basis for peace and reconciliation among various and conflicting nations and peoples.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98

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Oh, It’s Just A Conflict . . .

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It’s been happening for centuries—soldiers pick a fight with other soldiers and civilians are displaced and killed.

From the Associated Press: Russia rolls into Georgia, rolls back the clock

From CNN: Georgia-Russia conflict brings back Cold War memories

From the Irish Times: Relief for Georgia as Russian forces begin withdrawal

“Relief? Oh, but it’s just a conflict.”

Well… No, it’s war! The brave crusaders can use all the disguising words they want. When guns shoot and bombs explode and innocent people are made to suffer, it’s war.

That image up there is very old yet it tells the story as well as our modern media. Troops fight (feeling like an angel is guiding them) and innocents suffer . . .

What brought me to write this post, as I did my daily scan of news sources, was an audio-enhanced slide show on EurasiaNet.Org. It’s a story photographed and spoken by Rena Effendi. It shows the dislocation and disruption of the innocents in this “conflict” that the underside of the carpet knows is war . . .

This is a unique and compelling story !
GEORGIA – Audio/Pictorial Report

Today’s Quote:

“For thousands of years the human race has been at war. It is enough. Now let mankind, for a time at least, consort in amity and peace. Enmity and hatred have ruled. Let the world, for a period, exercise love. For thousands of years the nations have denied each other, considering each other as infidel and inferior. It is sufficient. We must now realize that we are the servants of one God, that we turn to one beneficent Father, live under one divine law, seek one reality and have one desire. Thus may we live in the utmost friendship and love, and in return the favors and bounties of God shall surround us; the world of humanity will be reformed; mankind, enjoy a new life; eternal light will illumine, and heavenly moralities become manifest.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 6

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The Crisis of Faith

Things seem so gruesomely glum—so downright dour—so freakishly forbidding . . . Yet, there is Potent Hope. If you can accept it . . .

From the Washington Post: Credit Crisis Triggers Unprecedented U.S. Response
From China View: Former UN chief expresses concern over global food, fuel crisis in Ghana
From the New York Times: 1,500 Reported Killed in Georgia Battle
From the Boston Globe: Early retirement plans can be short-circuited by a crisis of one kind or another
From the Irish Times: Testimonies of atomic terror: lest we forget
From Nehanda Radio: Thousands face starvation as food crisis deepens in rural Zimbabwe

Pretty bad, eh? Probably gonna get worse…

I’m not being morose or sullen; not even pessimistic. I’m making a strong point.

What can extricate our Family from the multitude of crises assailing it?

Where is hope?

It sure isn’t in the things that have been tried for many years—the failed strategies, the materialistic grand-schemes, the corporate “solutions”, the political fantasies.

Something related to God, then?

“Oh, my, there he goes again. Poor Alex is flying in his nirvana of spirituality.”

Valid point. Just look at all the fine people, deeply spiritual, who’ve been slaughtered by the present system of managing human affairs.

Still, is dying for a cause proof that the cause isn’t valid? Is the apparent power of the politicians, corporations, and greedy-onslaughts-abounding any proof that a spiritual solution is not the best way to face such a sorry Mess?

Try this quote on for size:

“It behoveth everyone to traverse this brief span of life with sincerity and fairness. Should one fail to attain unto the recognition of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, let him at least conduct himself with reason and justice. Erelong these outward trappings, these visible treasures, these earthly vanities, these arrayed armies, these adorned vestures, these proud and overweening souls, all shall pass into the confines of the grave, as though into that box. In the eyes of those possessed of insight, all this conflict, contention and vainglory hath ever been, and will ever be, like unto the play and pastimes of children. Take heed, and be not of them that see and yet deny.”

Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, 3.17

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A Journalist from Darfur… {reprint}

This is Awatif Ahmed Isshag.

She’s been a journalist for the last ten years.

She lives in Darfur.

When events like the ongoing crisis in Darfur come to the attention of relatively secure people like me (resident of the USA, not starving, and not seeing death and destruction every day), we feel particularly helpless.

It’s going to take more than the combined efforts of all the aid organizations there are to help people in that country [not to mention the horrible happenings in other countries].

It’s going to take a massive change of heart–massive change for each individual who could help in any way and massive change for every government and political person who has any influence on secular happenings–a thorough spiritual transformation.

Can you hear it?

The world is crying, screaming for change…

The Dynamist Blog carried a short article about Awatif Ahmed Isshag. Here’s just a taste:

“Nearly a decade ago, at 14, Isshag started publishing a handwritten community newsletter about local events, arts and religion. Once a month she’d paste decorated pages to a large piece of wood and hang it from a tree outside her family’s home for passersby to read.

“Her grass-roots periodical has become the closest thing that El Fasher, capital of North Darfur state, has to a hometown newspaper. More than 100 people a day stop to check out her latest installments, some walking several miles from nearby displacement camps….

“Isshag complained that despite international attention, the suffering of Darfur remained vastly underreported inside Sudan. There are no television stations in the area, and most newspapers operate under government control or are based hundreds of miles away in Khartoum.

“‘The local media don’t cover the issue of Darfur,’ she said. ‘We hear about it when one child dies in Iraq, but we hear nothing when 50 children die’ in Darfur.”

She is, in a way, blogging without a computer.

If you need some background on the bigger picture, the BBC News has Darfur: Little hope five years on and Wikipedia has Darfur Conflict.

A more complete story on Awatif Ahmed Isshag is archived at the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a telling detail from that article:

“An advocate for women’s education, Isshag credits her parents for allowing her to avoid being tied down by housework and pursue her interest in writing.

“But she occasionally uses her columns to lecture other women on pet peeves. A recent ‘For Women Only’ article lambasted those who took off their shoes on the bus. ‘It’s wrong,’ she said with a laugh.”