Young Powerhouse . . .

Feel downhearted about Humanity?

Think there’s no good reason to hope for the future?

Pretty much fed up with all the portrayals of humans as inept, powerless cogs in a wheel that’s stopped turning?

The three videos in this post should cure you of all those ills!

Thia Megia

She appeared on America’s Got Talent  at 14 year’s old and wowed them!

The following videos show her at 12—amateur videos that capture a Polished Soul showing us how to Live Life!!!

Spiritual Quote:

“We applaud those youth who, in respect of this period, have already engaged in some activity within their national and local communities or in collaboration with their peers in other countries, and call upon them to persevere in their unyielding efforts to acquire spiritual qualities and useful qualifications. For if they do so, the influence of their high- minded motivations will exert itself upon world developments conducive to a productive, progressive and peaceful future.”
The Universal House of Justice, 1985 May 08, Bahá’í Youth of the World

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Who Is Writing The Future ? – Part Six

writing_the_future-who_is_writing_the_future
This is the final post in this series, inspired by the document, Who Is Writing the Future? Reflections on the Twentieth Century. In the final section of that document, these words appear:

“Viewed through Bahá’u’lláh’s eyes, the history of tribes, peoples, and nations has effectively reached its conclusion. What we are witnessing is the beginning of the history of humankind, the history of a human race conscious of its own oneness. To this turning point in the course of civilization, his writings bring a redefinition of the nature and processes of civilization and a reordering of its priorities.”

If you’ve been following along in this series, you’ve probably realized that the answer to Who is writing the future?  is Bahá’u’lláh—with the strong hint that we can participate in the effort.

It may be hard to imagine that Bahá’u’lláh could, well over 100 years ago, speak to our times—provide sure counsel about how to reorder our priorities—give us a “map” of the road our human family needs to follow as it strides into its long awaited maturity.

The road we’ve traveled has been full of crises, danger, wonder, enlightenment, and spiritual growth. Still, it’s time we leave behind the adolescent greediness of jealously independent peoples and nations and embrace the Oneness that is obvious to not only truly religious people but also reasonable scientists.

Fine… Pretty words… Wonderfully exalted ideas, but…

How?

Certainly, the education of people (especially children) so they can see that it’s not totally impossible. And, certain globally enforced laws that curb insane imbalances in wealth and poverty. There are so many initiatives that are already underway and critically necessary to prepare the ground. Still… There appear to be solid chunks of impacted soil, dark with materialism, and even rock-solid layers of corporate and governmental agendas that need breaking up before the ground can be properly plowed so the seeds of twentieth century humanitarian action can take root; not to mention the liberal application of the fertilizer of Love…

In the words of the document:

“There is nothing in Bahá’u’lláh’s writings to encourage the illusion that the changes envisioned will come about easily. Far otherwise. As the events of the twentieth century have already demonstrated, patterns of habit and attitude which have taken root over thousands of years are not abandoned either spontaneously or in response simply to education or legislative action. Whether in the life of the individual or that of society, profound change occurs more often than not in response to intense suffering and to unendurable difficulties that can be overcome in no other way. Just so great a testing experience, Bahá’u’lláh warned, is needed to weld the earth’s diverse peoples into a single people.”

Can you remember a time in your life when you were overcome with intense suffering—suffering so strong you felt you might cave in and give up the game? That  is right where humanity is. Let’s hope and pray that We don’t give up the game…

Remember when the suffering was over and you found you had a new sense of internal strength? You may have also experienced the flow of renewed initiative leading to solid improvements in your life-situation. That  is where humanity is headed—the Light at the end of the tunnel of humbling suffering…

Hope hides in the clouds of suffering—illumination spawning the silver lining of the future.

I’ll close this series of posts with these words from Who Is Writing The Future?:

“However great the turmoil, the period into which humanity is moving will open to every individual, every institution, and every community on earth unprecedented opportunities to participate in the writing of the planet’s future. ‘Soon’, is Bahá’u’lláh’s confident promise, ‘will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.'”

If you’d like a copy of the original document, you can download a Word .doc or Adobe .pdf file.

Spiritual Quote :

“Strive then, O My brother, to apprehend this matter, that the veils may be lifted from the face of thy heart and that thou mayest be reckoned among them whom God hath graced with such penetrating vision as to behold the most subtle realities of His dominion, to fathom the mysteries of His kingdom, to perceive the signs of His transcendent Essence in this mortal world, and to attain a station wherein one seeth no distinction amongst His creatures and findeth no flaw in the creation of the heavens and the earth.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 5

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One Common Faith ~ The Story – Part Seven

peace

The End {?} of the Story…

Here’s the beginning…


The last two posts, about my Dark Night of the Soul, didn’t have much detail. I tried to convey the essence of my journey through the halls of worldly learning and my lack of well-being during the trek. What I didn’t relate was the gritty, dirty, degrading, disheartening details. I’m sure some of you can fill in those details…

Our human family’s trek through the ages has much more depravity and wrenching sorrow than I ever  could have lived. There have also, thank God, been eras of soaring success and glorious progress. We—all humans—have been on a Trek of Cosmic proportion!

And, most important, for the story of humanity, all the sacred Scriptures talk about a Promised Time when the Kingdom of God will be established on this earth. Most people are unaware of this historic record and, even if educated about its existence, would not believe it possible.

In the depths of my own disbelief, I still caught glimpses of a Light—an ineffable, indescribable Hope—a Way Out of the nauseating cycle of strive-fail-strive-fail-Wail …

I found my Answer, my Faith, when I was 42. Yes, it was a religion. But… If you’ve been following this story from the beginning, you realize that, when I use the word “religion”, I don’t mean the deplorable examples that are scattered over the earth—the shams and shells of religion that are so perverted with human failings and fantasies that God, in His Love and Wisdom, is buried under impenetrable mountains of falsehood.

Yet, God is said to be All-Powerful…

So, where is a religion that permits God to enter our lives without the impossible barriers of conventional religions?

1844

That year is very  important. That year was the latest rebirth of religion—a rebirth that has happened many times in human history.

Just like Spring overcomes the death and decay of Winter, there have been Springtimes of religious rebirth—every Prophet-Founder of the world’s major religions bringing a Fresh Spirit of Pure Spiritual Knowledge—Each, insanely rejected by the followers of the incumbent form of religion—Each, made to suffer incredibly from the spiritual blindness of humanity.

But, God is Love, right? So, God has continued to send His Messengers, no matter how many times we’ve rejected Them…

I accepted my Faith when I was 42 and I’m now 62. I certainly didn’t turn into an angel just because I saw the Light. These last 20 years have been an incredible uphill struggle for me but, of course, I had 42 years to practice being an egotistic, materialistic human…

I have more hope than I ever did but my journey now has an importance that requires more deep soul-effort than I’d ever expended—more listening to my heart, more discipline, more prayer…

The way I see it, I have one basic choice, go with the worldly flow and continue to be miserably disappointed or oppose the flow and learn to soar in the heavens of pure spiritual life.

Our human family has the same choice and also has the capability and power to make the right decision—person by person—to turn this hellacious mess into the Promised Heavenly Earth. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been hanging out in the right spaces, you haven’t been exposed to the Truth, you’ve been stuck for too long, just like me, in the rut of what’s been,  unable to see what can be …

I’m not trying to convert you to my religion, I’m just trying to let you know there is  hope, there is  a way to make our earth a respectable Palace that caters to the well-being and tranquillity of All Peoples …

Here’s a video about the world-wide Bahá’í Community:

Here is the Statement, The Promise of World Peace

Spiritual Quote :

“Your efforts must be lofty. Exert yourselves with heart and soul so that, perchance, through your efforts the light of universal peace may shine and this darkness of estrangement and enmity may be dispelled from amongst men, that all men may become as one family and consort together in love and kindness, that the East may assist the West and the West give help to the East, for all are the inhabitants of one planet, the people of one original native land and the flocks of one Shepherd.

“Consider how the Prophets Who have been sent, the great souls who have appeared and the sages who have arisen in the world have exhorted mankind to unity and love. This has been the essence of their mission and teaching. This has been the goal of their guidance and message. The Prophets, saints, seers and philosophers have sacrificed their lives in order to establish these principles and teachings amongst men. Consider the heedlessness of the world, for notwithstanding the efforts and sufferings of the Prophets of God, the nations and peoples are still engaged in hostility and fighting. Notwithstanding the heavenly commandments to love one another, they are still shedding each other’s blood. How heedless and ignorant are the people of the world! How gross the darkness which envelops them! Although they are the children of a compassionate God, they continue to live and act in opposition to His will and good pleasure. God is loving and kind to all men, and yet they show the utmost enmity and hatred toward each other. God is the Giver of life to them, and yet they constantly seek to destroy life. God blesses and protects their homes; they rage, sack and destroy each other’s homes. Consider their ignorance and heedlessness!

“Your duty is of another kind, for you are informed of the mysteries of God. Your eyes are illumined; your ears are quickened with hearing. You must, therefore, look toward each other and then toward mankind with the utmost love and kindness.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 470

For an in-depth and rigorous discussion of the principles explored in this story, reference One Common Faith and Changeless Faith.

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Are You Political ?

politics This post is a huge departure for me. I normally use news clips, personal commentary, and spiritual quotes to address the issues of our culture.

I work hard to keep the discussion valid for a global audience even though I live in the United States of America.


Well, today, in America, the news is all political, all presidential, all pervasive…

I’m sitting in my favorite café and will attempt to do some “live” blogging—writing without forethought, as events unfold. I’m not going to cover what’s happening on the TV but what’s happening with the people around me…

Here goes!

It’s quarter to six and the only people in the café are me, a woman getting ready for a Mary Kay meeting in the back room, and Sam, the owner. Sam just said he hopes to finish his work soon so he can sit on the couch, in front of the big-screen TV, and “get involved”…

Another patron arrives and promptly settles on the couch and begins working on his personal letter-writing…

Five till six: Two more patrons, getting ready to play a war-game…

Five after six: Talk is starting to percolate—”when will the pundits start projecting a winner…?”

Sam just made a personal pronouncement about why this election will be a nail-biter: the candidates are so radically different—not politically but as far as their characters are concerned.

{ personal aside: I hope readers in countries other than America will make comments on this post ! }

Five till Seven: Sam is on the couch!

Five after seven: The war-game is heating up and Sam looks happy with the first projections.

{personal aside: the confrontational, partisan rhetoric from the television is starting to get to me…}

Seven-thirty: Both couches inhabited; it’s starting to warm up…

Eight-fifteen: Laptop in use on the couch; spirited discussion begins; the couples playing games start a new one…

Eight-thirty-five: Cell phones in use; discussion tones down…

Nine-ten: Some folks are heading home to sleep; willing to see what happened in the morning…

Nine-thirty: Much discussion of the difference between the various projections of the winner—MSNBC, Fox, Google…

{personal aside: Amazing how excited people can get over media projections…}

Eleven o’clock: Obama projected as winner; one women running outside, cell phone to ear; the rest of the folks look a bit shocked; then, most everyone leaves the cafe…

McCain concedes with impeccable grace while his followers shout rude comments, Jesse Jackson in tears, and three people remain in the café…

Obama gives acceptance speech…

My enduring impression will be the blending of skin color on the stage and the hope of human harmony as Joe Biden joins him and the two families stream in while Mr. Obama clearly shows how humbled he feels to be elevated to a position of leadership in our crisis-riddled world…

Spiritual Quote:

“…the breeding-ground of all these tragedies is prejudice: prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation of the past—imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in national bias, in politics. So long as this aping of the past persisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity be continually exposed to direst peril.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 247

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Who Is Writing The Future ?

starvation
It would seem that the Past and Present are just about too much to handle these days. So, who’s writing our Future? Will it just happen? Should it be left up to those who’ve wrecked our past and present?

From Agence France-Presse: HIV-AIDS orphans face life alone in Swaziland

From Unicef: Situation worsens for children as relief measures falter in Horn crisis

From Save The Children: Children living on highways to escape Bihar floods killed by traffic

The children that manage to live through these crises are the ones most likely to affect our future; they are, even now, “writing” the future–in their hearts . . .

And, it’s not just the children who suffer in extremely bleak ways in Africa, East Asia, India, or China that are doing this Writing. Children of the affluent are doing their heart-writing, too.

All these young and mostly tender souls are the Witnesses of our age. Those who live into adulthood are the ones who will, based on their past, decide what’s to be done in a world nearly completely devastated by near-term crises.

Children have always been the Future. Too bad I won’t live to see the remarkable achievements of the future adults who overcome our mistakes and build a new world on the skeleton of what we’ve left them.

Today’s Spiritual Quote comes from a document that evaluates the Twentieth Century:

“…the deliberate extermination of millions of helpless human beings, the invention and use of new weapons of destruction capable of annihilating whole populations, the rise of ideologies that suffocated the spiritual and intellectual life of entire nations, damage to the physical environment of the planet on a scale so massive that it may take centuries to heal, and the incalculably greater damage done to generations of children taught to believe that violence, indecency, and selfishness are triumphs of personal liberty. Such are only the more obvious of a catalogue of evils, unmatched in history, whose lessons our era will leave for the education of the chastened generations who will follow us.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1999 Feb, Who is Writing the Future: Reflections on the Twentieth Century

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Can Youth Guide Us ?

youth

Our politicians and corporate leaders are guiding us to the brink of total despair. What can youth teach us about faith and hope?

From the Record Searchlight (Redding, California): Local event raises cash for charities by raising the spirit of the ’60s

From Agence France-Presse: Baghdadis revel in first big football final in years “We’ve had only misery but we need to be happy. This is the first time that I forget everything. Can you distinguish a Shiite from a Sunni? No, they are all Iraqis,” said Mohammed Kazem, an 18-year-old deliveryman.

From OneWorld.Net: A Megaphone for Kenya’s Street Kids “Kenyan youth living and working in the streets are finding new ways to raise awareness about the issues that matter to them using online blogs and photography.”

Well, since most of the adults in the world are either part of the cause of the world’s crises or totally beat down by the crises’ oppression, it appears youth are the preeminent solution.

That’s not to say adults can’t help but I feel strongly that most of that help should be in the form of assisting the youth of the world in gaining confidence in the enormous potential they have for turning our poor, sick globe around—creating the faithful and hopeful impetus for positive change . . .

Today’s quote is addressed to Bahá’í youth but its message is a clear call for any youth to grab the reins and charge into the future:

“Indeed, let them welcome with confidence the challenges awaiting them. Imbued with this excellence and a corresponding humility, with tenacity and a loving servitude, today’s youth must move towards the front ranks of the professions, trades, arts and crafts which are necessary to the further progress of humankind—this to ensure that the spirit of the Cause will cast its illumination on all these important areas of human endeavor. Moreover, while aiming at mastering the unifying concepts and swiftly advancing technologies of this era of communications, they can, indeed they must also guarantee the transmittal to the future of those skills which will preserve the marvelous, indispensable achievements of the past. The transformation which is to occur in the functioning of society will certainly depend to a great extent on the effectiveness of the preparations the youth make for the world they will inherit.”
The Universal House of Justice, 1985 May 08, Baha’i Youth of the World

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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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