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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How Hungry Are *You* ?

Cartoons can be brutal in their portrayals yet nowhere near as brutal as the facts.

Who’s starving?
Who’s well-fed and determined to stay that way, whatever the price?
Who deserves to starve?
Who’s working to stop the inequities?

From Reuters: Biofuels major driver of food price rise: World Bank “Large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices, a top World Bank economist said in research published on Monday.”

From OneWorld.Net: Trade Negotiations Cannot Solve Food Crisis Created by WTO and World Bank “Trade negotiators are using the current food crisis as a Trojan Horse at the WTO negotiations to push an agribusiness agenda on farmers and rural communities around the world,” stated Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Agriculture should be removed from WTO negotiations until international leaders fully examine the impact on developing countries’ ability to feed themselves.”

Hmmm…
The World Bank states one of the major problems then persists in striving toward a non-solution.

Why are people so subjugated they can’t raise their own food? Why do the multinationals work so hard to deny human rights?

Let’s see . . . Couldn’t be massive greed, could it?

It took me most of 40 years to get the idea that we are One from my head to my heart. During that time, I committed actions that benefited me and ignored my brothers and sisters in our global family.

My head said I deserved what I could grab. I’d suffered and needed those material things to comfort me . . .

Now my heart aches with bleeding feelings that stun my sensibilities. The world’s in the clutches of the temporally powerful. Temporal because the Spirit of humanity will survive and the materialistic “rulers” will turn to dust and be forgotten.

This post and its implications are so grief-ridden I’m reduced to a state of utter hope—hope that my grandchild’s children will see better days.

What’s your estimate of when things will turn from greed to compassion?

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“Good God! Is it possible that, seeing one of his fellow-creatures starving, destitute of everything, a man can rest and live comfortably in his luxurious mansion? He who meets another in the greatest misery, can he enjoy his fortune? That is why, in the Religion of God, it is prescribed and established that wealthy men each year give over a certain part of their fortune for the maintenance of the poor and unfortunate. That is the foundation of the Religion of God and is binding upon all.
“And as man in this way is not forced nor obliged by the government, but is by the natural tendency of his good heart voluntarily and radiantly showing benevolence toward the poor, such a deed is much praised, approved and pleasing.
“Such is the meaning of the good works in the Divine Books and Tablets.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 276

“Unfortunately, the arbiters of human affairs have, instead of embracing the concept of the oneness of mankind and promoting the increase of concord among different peoples, tended to deify the State, to subordinate the rest of mankind to one nation, race or class, to attempt to suppress all discussion and interchange of ideas, or callously to abandon starving millions to the operations of a market system that all too clearly is aggravating the plight of the majority of mankind, while enabling small sections to live in an unprecedented condition of affluence.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1989 Feb 09, Right to Development

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Humanity Is Starving For Unity !

starving man

image credit

From G8: Global Food Security Plan Expected, on Inter Press Service comes this:

“A landmark agreement on ensuring global food security is likely to emerge from the G8 summit… The agreement would reflect an intertwining between soaring food prices, climate change, and surging energy costs, conference sources say.”

Does this sort of action foreshadow a coming organic unity of human kind?

Does even the effort being made, whether the agreement leads to betterment of the problems or not, show the utter necessity of a global focus on unity?

Here are today’s quotes:

“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 19

“…by ‘Oneness of Mankind’ is meant an organized unification, not mere brotherhood. It is not a humanitarian principle, it does not imply a theoretical abstract conception, but a promise that the world is going to be unified politically, socially, economically and religiously.”

Shoghí Effendí, Extracts from the USBN

“Conceived of as an end in itself, the national state has come to be a denial of the oneness of mankind, the source of general disruption opposed to the true interests of its people. From the depths of man’s divine endowment stirs response to the affirmation of oneness which gives this age its central impetus and direction. Society is undergoing transformation, to effect a new order based on the wholeness of human relationships.”

Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

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~~~~~~~~~
~ Unleash The Life Within ~
~~~~~~~~~

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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 !