Disclosure . . .

disclosureI’m so serious in this blog…

Well, the subject matter demands it…

Yet, I want you to relate to me; mostly because the presentation is my “take” on events and, no matter the facts, the perspective becomes part of the “truth” of what’s communicated.

So…

I decided I’d upload some of my favorite music videos and introduce, through feelings, the man behind the words…
{update: Since I first posted this, I’ve changed a few and added two.}

Enjoy!!!












Spiritual Quote:

“We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion. Truly, We are loath to see you numbered with the foolish.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38

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Playing For Change

Peace

Not gonna say much this time…

Want to {always want to} encourage and uplift…

Can you remember?

Singing your troubles away…

Dancing through the pain…

Loving because You  are Love

Let’s join musicians around the world and
Be the Change

All these videos are from Playing for Change:


Stand By Me

One Love

Don’t Worry

Spiritual Quote:

Henceforward we shall always be together, heart and soul and spirit, pressing forward in the work till all men are gathered together under the tent of the Kingdom, singing the songs of peace.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 40

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Who Are The Poor ?

poorAre you poor? Do you know someone who is?

Most of humanity is poor…

Even the richest people on earth run the risk of being poor in spirit.

I want you to contrast your memory of the largest, most exciting event you’ve ever seen (especially if it was in an affluent country)—full of cheering crowds, ecstatic children, thunderous music, and fantastic displays; contrast that with the following video—produced all over the world  and performed by some of the poor majority—then, tell yourself which event is more uplifting to your soul:

Produced by Playing for Change

I can’t help but feel that things like the Superbowl or the Rose Parade or the extravaganza of the recent U. S. Presidential Campaign not only don’t help my soul but probably darken it just a bit…

Our souls need to truly connect with other souls, not through massive productions that worship money and privilege but through events that let us truly participate, even if only to sing along with the video…

Spiritual Quote :

“They who are possessed of riches…must have the utmost regard for the poor, for great is the honor destined by God for those poor who are steadfast in patience. By My life! There is no honor, except what God may please to bestow, that can compare to this honor. Great is the blessedness awaiting the poor that endure patiently and conceal their sufferings, and well is it with the rich who bestow their riches on the needy and prefer them before themselves.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 202

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Peace Through Music

musicI’m working on a couple posts about the United Nations and whether it’s effective in bringing the contending nations of the world together. They should be done in a day or so but I wanted to immediately share a marvelous musical experience that my friend Robin Easton shared with me.

It took ten years to make the video and involved traveling to many different countries. There are about 100 musicians all playing or singing the song, Stand by Me.

The fact that these people were separated by many physical miles didn’t stop them from coming close together to create a wondrous (and rockin’) rendition of the song.

So, sit back, crank up the sound, and indulge yourself in a musical peace fest!

Spiritual Quote:

“The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of different race and colour from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different coloured roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 53

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Heads or Tails ?

soar above painIt’s always a choice, no matter how much pain is happening, whether you’ll attempt to rise above it or wallow in it.

From the Lewiston Sun Journal:The Sweet Sting of Relief

From empowher:You’re In Pain. You Want Relief. Naturally

From the Daily Record, Scotland:I climbed all 284 Munros [mountains] despite suffering from two debilitating conditions

I spent some time yesterday looking back at the first few posts of this blog. I began it in March, just two months before the end of a torturous eleven-month medical drug therapy to rid my liver of a deadly virus (Hepatitis C). The first posts were all about the pain of the treatments, about how debilitating and depressing they were but, also, expressing my determination to soar as far above the physical disorders as I could.

One of the greatest aids to flight above physical suffering was my music. I even offered some of my favorites in a post on March 28th:

My All-Time Favorite Song

My All-Time Favorite Singer

My All-Time Favorite Musical Group

The other great relief from my suffering was opening my mind and heart to spiritual sustenance.

If you’ve visited this blog before, you know I’m dedicated to raising the issues in current events to the level of Principle. Recently, I’ve been working toward my first comprehensive series of posts. The first in the series will be the very next post I write (more than likely posted on Tuesday). The subject will be Inducing the Will to Act. I’m taking the themes for the series from the fourth chapter of a book called, Peace: More Than An End To War.

To help with my thinking and feeling for the series (it will be a major spiritual and emotional effort) I used a really cool application called Wordle–transposing any text (including a blog) into a word-cloud. I used the text of the document, The Search for Values in an Age of Transition, which I’m studying for a future series of posts.

Here’s the word-cloud (click to enlarge):
spiritual word-cloud

Here’s the outline for the series of posts (with the post numbers):

1 Inducing the will to act.
Eliminating barriers to peace.
2 Racism.
3 Extremes of wealth & poverty.
Preventing economic disparity
Fostering altruism & philanthropy

4 Unbridled nationalism.
5 Religious strife.
6 Denial of the equality of women & men.
7 Ignorance & lack of education.
8 Multiplicity of languages.
Evoking Moral Attitudes Conducive to Enduring Peace
9 Material Achievements and Spiritual Perfections
10 Two Wings of Progress
11 The Power of a Moral Character

“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-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 87

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How Does Music Affect You ?

https://i0.wp.com/www.classicalmusic.org.uk/image-files/baby-cd-music-web.jpg

image credit

If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, please give it a go, o.k.?

Those inspiring kids had profound results from relating to music. One important factor was that they all played music. Having grown up in a musical family, I know the power of “making music”. Psychologists and Teachers understand that power, too !

But whether you have music affect you by making it or just listening to it, it does have some rich rewards.

What’s your experience with music?

How does it affect you?

Why do you think music has such effects on people?

Do you dare leave a comment ???

Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead

image credit


I’ve received permission from Esra’a Al Shafei to reprint an article she wrote on Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead. Here’s a bit of bio about her:

A 21 year old student from a Kingdom the size of a bathtub in the Gulf: Bahrain. She comes from a long line of lift engineers and personnel managers. She likes hardcore acoustic noise-terror music and people who can take a joke. She thinks college ultimately does not matter in the slightest, but unfortunately, some kind of socio-political imposition of cultural norms forces her to attend. She enjoys drinking flavored milk and writing about herself in 3rd person to remind herself of her existence.”

And, here’s her article, Iraqi Youth Use Music To Deal With Chaos:

Iraqi youth use music to deal with chaos

Author: Esra’a (Bahrain) – June 1, 2008

I’ve always wondered how Iraqi youth must feel now that at least 5 years have passed since the war started, with their situation only getting direr. Religious extremism there is worse than I expected, or at least that’s how the media right now is making it seem. Lately an article from Baghdad by Reuters explores how some youth deal with the war around them; through their passion for music. I found the article very inspiring and touching, especially since it deals with something that all of us take for granted but probably all love and can’t live without: Music. Something Iraqi youth are currently risking their lives being involved in.

“When I play my oud, I defy violence in society,” said Haneen Imad, 17, referring to her traditional Arabic lute, as she played an old folk song on its strings. “When I hear the sound of a helicopter droning over my head, I play louder.”

[…]

Farand Nashaat, 14, hides his trumpet in a rucksack on the way to school so as not to draw attention to his love of music.

[…]

Zuhel Sultan, a 16-year-old pianist, joined the music school when she was 10. Gunmen killed her father four years ago and her mother died of a stroke shortly after, but she says she’s lucky.

“I’m lucky because I have music. With music, I can overcome my difficulties — the dangers of roads, explosions, fearing for relatives,” she said with a broad smile.

[…]

Despite hardships, the school provides all instruments, ballet costumes and musical scores — and offers a cherished escape from daily life for pupils like Husam al-Deen, a 17-year-old cellist.

“My most joyful time is at school,” he said. “It’s a beautiful feeling — we forget the problems on the street, the war, the Americans. We forget everything until we go home.”

I bet after reading this article, you too might feel lucky that something you love so much (if you love music, and I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t) comes so easy in your life while others have to risk their lives just to play it.

For the heavy metal fans out there, there’s a prominent band called Acrassicauda in Baghdad who are seeking official refugee status as what they do is extremely risky as well:

Original members Firas (bass), Tony (lead guitar), Marwan (drums), Faisal (rhythm guitar) and Waleed (lead vocals) were only able to play 3 shows before the war started in 2003. Soon after, Waleed retired from the band and fled the country, leaving Faisal to fill the void of lead singer. Due to increased security precautions throughout Iraq, it became difficult to practice or even get through a show without serious problems. As the situation worsened in Baghdad they began receiving death threats from insurgent groups and religious fundamentalists accusing them of Satan-worship. Eventually, it proved impossible to find any venue that was safe to perform in.

You can read more about them at their blog here. You can see how much they have to deal with just so they can practice and play their music. It’s an increasingly depressing situation for musicians and music lovers in Iraq.