A “Dangerous” Faith…

dangerous_faithThe Bahá’í Faith is dangerous, according to the government of Iran…

The Faith was born in Iran in 1844…

Tens of thousands of Bahá’ís have lost their lives because they won’t recant…

According to a Bahá’í source: “Currently, there are at least 31 Baha’is in Iran’s prisons, including the seven people who comprised the leadership group known as the Friends in Iran. Those seven have now been in prison more than a year, awaiting trial.” During that time, they have had no access to their legal counsel…

Their trial is currently set for October 18th. The charges against them include two that could bring the death penalty…

Bobby Aazami recently won a Baha’i-sponsored video contest for this:

Spiritual Quote:

“At this writing, the expectant voices of Bahá’ís can be heard despite the persecution they still endure in the land in which their Faith was born. By their example of steadfast hope, they bear witness to the belief that the imminent realization of this age-old dream of peace is now, by virtue of the transforming effects of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation, invested with the force of divine authority. Thus we convey to you not only a vision in words: we summon the power of deeds of faith and sacrifice; we convey the anxious plea of our co-religionists everywhere for peace and unity. We join with all who are the victims of aggression, all who yearn for an end to conflict and contention, all whose devotion to principles of peace and world order promotes the ennobling purposes for which humanity was called into being by an all-loving Creator.

“In the earnestness of our desire to impart to you the fervour of our hope and the depth of our confidence, we cite the emphatic promise of Bahá’u’lláh: ‘These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the “Most Great Peace” shall come’.”
The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace, p. 5

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Is World Peace Actually Possible?

 warMy posts usually end with a spiritual quote. This time, the quote will dominate the post…

The words are from a man who spent 40 years as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. He was considered one of the most spiritual men of his time. He devoted his freedom, when once he gained it, to traveling Europe and America, carrying a Message charged with the power of the inevitable peace that humanity would win…

Inevitable?

“A few, unaware of the power latent in human endeavor, consider this matter as highly impracticable, nay even beyond the scope of man’s utmost efforts.”

Many, if not most, of humanity seem to think that people have an innate, in-born tendency toward fighting. Peace, in part of the world, for part of the time, then a reversion to war…

“Such is not the case, however. On the contrary, thanks to the unfailing grace of God, the loving-kindness of His favored ones, the unrivaled endeavors of wise and capable souls, and the thoughts and ideas of the peerless leaders of this age, nothing whatsoever can be regarded as unattainable.”

This man’s spirituality was very great and he proved it in action. It was said of him, “…he treads the mystic way with practical feet”. He was also known for his extreme rationality as well as his unending positive vision.

“Endeavor, ceaseless endeavor, is required. Nothing short of an indomitable determination can possibly achieve it. Many a cause which past ages have regarded as purely visionary, yet in this day has become most easy and practicable.”

Easy and practicable with ceaseless endeavor  and indomitable determination.

“Why should this most great and lofty Cause—the daystar of the firmament of true civilization and the cause of the glory, the advancement, the well-being and the success of all humanity—be regarded as impossible of achievement?”

Why should it be regarded as impossible? If a person lacks faith in humanity; if a person is buried in materialism and can’t lift their vision higher than what’s happening in front of them; if a person is filled with hate and intolerance; if a person is beaten by circumstances and hollowed-out by compromise; if attitudes like this hold sway in a person’s life, of course world peace would seem impossible…

“Surely the day will come when its beauteous light shall shed illumination upon the assemblage of man.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 66
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He passed away on November 28, 1921, in what is now called Israel.

“In the land that we know as the Holy Land, in all its turbulent history of the last two thousand years, there had never been an event which could unite all its inhabitants of diverse faiths and origins and purposes, in a single expression of thought and feeling, as did the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Jews and Christians and Muslims and Druzes, of all persuasions and denominations; Arabs and Turks and Kurds and Armenians and other ethnic groups were united in mourning His passing, in being aware of a great loss they had suffered.
H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—The Centre of the Covenant, p. 453

For a detailed analysis of why our age holds the hope that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá believed in, consult The Promise of World Peace

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What A Game !

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What kind of game is being played when children tussle and scrap over toys?

What kind of “game” is being played when adults tussle and scrap over nuclear weapons—the most deadly toys in human history?

From CommonDreams.Org: Nagasaki Commemorates Anniversary of Nuclear Attack {Saturday, August 9, 2008} “Thousands of people offered a minute’s silence at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the exact moment the city was hit by the world’s second and last nuclear attack on August 9, 1945, killing more than 70,000 people.”

From the Khaleej Times: All options on the table? {by Noam Chomsky} “NUCLEAR threats and counter-threats are a subtext of our times, steadily, it seems, becoming more insistent. The July meeting in Geneva between Iran and six major world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme ended with no progress.”

From OneWorld.Net: 16-Year-Old’s Video Wins Peace Contest {Videos Included} “California high school student Erik Choquette’s three-minute film calling on the United States to take a lead role in eliminating the world’s 27,000 nuclear weapons was recently awarded first place in a national video contest on nuclear disarmament.”

A tragic historical remembrance, a renewed saber-rattling by world leaders, and a cutting-edge video by a 16-year-old . . .

One of the most outstanding characteristics of our modern world is the vast range of action and desire—from the most debased to the most noble.

Finding one’s bearings in this tempestuous drama is a major undertaking—fraught with clamoring voices, swirling with contending payoffs, ripping at the heart-strings of any caring person.

Can we find any enduring promise of world peace? Is it impractical to search for such a promise? Is it in ancient texts or modern essays? Do you care?

Today’s spiritual quote is followed by links to the full document from which it came—a healing balm for the weary traveler on the Path toward Peace…

“Banning nuclear weapons, prohibiting the use of poison gases, or outlawing germ warfare will not remove the root causes of war. However important such practical measures obviously are as elements of the peace process, they are in themselves too superficial to exert enduring influence. Peoples are ingenious enough to invent yet other forms of warfare, and to use food, raw materials, finance, industrial power, ideology, and terrorism to subvert one another in an endless quest for supremacy and dominion. Nor can the present massive dislocation in the affairs of humanity be resolved through the settlement of specific conflicts or disagreements among nations. A genuine universal framework must be adopted.

“Certainly, there is no lack of recognition by national leaders of the world-wide character of the problem, which is self-evident in the mounting issues that confront them daily….There is, however, a paralysis of will; and it is this that must be carefully examined and resolutely dealt with. This paralysis is rooted, as we have stated, in a deep-seated conviction of the inevitable quarrelsomeness of mankind, which has led to the reluctance to entertain the possibility of subordinating national self-interest to the requirements of world order, and in an unwillingness to face courageously the far-reaching implications of establishing a united world authority. It is also traceable to the incapacity of largely ignorant and subjugated masses to articulate their desire for a new order in which they can live in peace, harmony and prosperity with all humanity.

“Disunity is a danger that the nations and peoples of the earth can no longer endure; the consequences are too terrible to contemplate, too obvious to require any demonstration. ‘The well-being of mankind,’ Bahá’u’lláh wrote more than a century ago, ‘its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.’ In observing that ‘mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to terminate its age-long martyrdom’, Shoghi Effendi further commented that: ‘Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of citystate, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.’ “
The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace

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Our Ruined Earth

My focus today is what’s wrong in Our Family’s Home . . .

From the Environment Section of AlterNet:

Why Our Food Waste May Be Our Greatest Asset
Composting is key to reducing waste costs, cutting global warming emissions, and increasing urban food security.

Time to Face the Hard Realities of a Global Energy Crisis
America needs a comprehensive plan to deal with post-peak oil — and that is going to involve some serious long-term thinking.

Get Ready for the Post-SUV World!
SUVs and big pickups are waddling off into the sunset, leaving Americans with no more excuses for the nation’s profligate oil use.

Global Warming’s Twin Evil: Wildfires and Drought
The 850 fires burning in California alone should be a wake up call that we’re unprepared for rapid climate change.

All this and much more on AlterNet’s Site . . .

And, absorb this wonderful, educational, and surprising video: “Solving” climate change from David Keith.

What’s driven our Family to this Crisis?

What can we actually do?

How much of the Crisis is manageable?

What needs to occur in political circles to make change actually happen?

Why in the world, considering that the environmental problem was already a concern in the 1950’s, have we let it get this bad?

Will prayer help?

Will war help? ( That’s a trick question. Just seeing if you’re paying attention… 😉 )

What in the World can We DO !?!

I’d Love to see your thoughts and feelings in the comments . . .

Today’s quote is from ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: Statement to the first substantive session of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED):

“The principle of the unity of mankind naturally implies the need for world peace and security. The World Commission on Environment and Development observed in its report that world peace and security are central to sustainable development. The Bahá’í International Community agrees that as long as the specter of war continues to dominate international relations, the well-being of the human race and the environment will continue to erode. It is the Bahá’í view that the root cause of all war and injustice is the failure to recognize the fundamental oneness of the human race. Acceptance of the principle of oneness will induce the willingness to uncover and permanently resolve all other causes for conflict. Indeed, it must be the foundation for any serious attempt to find ways of living in harmony with our environment and each other.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1990 Aug 06, Environment Development

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The Promise of World Peace

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I looked through all my news sources for a lead for today’s post based on my new “model” for this blog: lead with news story, make my own comments, finish with an appropriate spiritual quote.

None of the stories seemed right; none of the issues seemed worthy of coverage; no part of the world was immune from problems–even the Olympics is plagued with controversy.

So, it came to me to put “global” + “crisis” into Google…

Here are some links from just the first page of results:

Forget oil, the new global crisis is food

Global Financial and Economic Crisis

Global Food Crisis

Global Coral Crisis Is In Full Bloom

Muhammad cartoons ‘global crisis

Biodiversity Crisis | Global Species Loss

Global Water Crisis

Poor old world . . .

I ask myself why . . .

Why is now the time of so much crisis? Is there a deep reason or is it just a fluke? Will we get over all these crises or is the world doomed?

“The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet—in the words of one great thinker, ‘the planetization of mankind’.


“Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible….

“Whatever suffering and turmoil the years immediately ahead may hold, however dark the immediate circumstances, the Bahá’í community believes that humanity can confront this supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome. Far from signalizing the end of civilization, the convulsive changes towards which humanity is being ever more rapidly impelled will serve to release the ‘potentialities inherent in the station of man’ and reveal ‘the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality’. “

The Universal House of Justice, October 1985, The Promise of World Peace, pp. 2-3

Download The Complete Document: Word .doc or  Adobe .pdf


Peace… When?

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People vary greatly in their beliefs about world peace, from passion so strong it impels strident action to a hopeless blurr when they imagine the future.

Some say man is, by nature, violent.

Others, that world peace is inevitable.

My belief, when I gaze across the stretches of recorded history and see humanity slowly but surely embracing unity of family, then unity of tribe, then village, city, state, and nation, my belief is that unity on the global level will arrive. Not easily nor quickly but as surely as the next spring…

The spiritual quote for today uses the words, “Holy Spirit”.

To give that Title a little more clarity:

“The descent of the Holy Spirit is not like the entrance of air into man; it is an expression and a simile, rather than an exact or a literal image. No, rather it is like the entrance of the image of the sun into the mirror — that is to say, its splendor becomes apparent in it.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 105

Here is today’s quote:

“Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish and weak… Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 11

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~ Unleash The Life Within ~
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