Last Friday evening July 22, 2018, I was invited to speak at a gathering at Boone’s Hall in Scripps College called Under the Skin. The event was initiated by Micah Huang the son of the two professors at Claremont Colleges, Rachel and Hao Huang. The combination of music and stories shared was meant to heal the deep wounds we cause each other when we only see the exclusion of the OTHER as a rightful price for the successful of ME. Even though I have spent many years in studying and training educators and communities to eliminate discrimination and wounding others, the evening was another rude awakening to the widespread hurt and agony caused by a humanity ignorant as to the principles of the oneness of all humanity that must guide and protect us from a looming self destructive global collision. As a Baha’i I believe deeply that oneness of all humanity must be taught in every curriculum so our children will never become victims of the deadly spiritual disease of Me and the devastation caused by adopting self destructive wish; “The future belongs to Me.” The contemplation of which, even is a show, scares the soul out of me. I wanted to shout; The Future Must Belong to All of US!!
Fashism, is a book written recently by former Secretary of the State by Madeline Albright . The troubling and rising spirit that is unveiled in her book is well demonstrated in the powerful and frightening song; Tomorrow Belongs to Me.
In the New Yorker article called: Madeleine Albright Warns of a New Fascism—and Trump
We read: Mussolini called on his followers to believe in an Italy that would be “prosperous because it was self-sufficient and respected because it was feared,” Albright writes. “This was how twentieth-century fascism began: with a magnetic leader exploiting widespread dissatisfaction by promising all things.”
The Advent of Divine Justice is a book written by the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, Shoghi Effendi in 1938. In it Shoghi Effendi explains for Bahai’s the main factors associated with the inner life of the spirit and at the same time, the social relationships that must be cultivated to advance the progress of humanity as a unified organic entity at large.
How often have the Prophets of God, not excepting Bahá’u’lláh Himself, chosen to appear, and deliver their Message in countries and amidst peoples and races, at a time when they were either fast declining, or had already touched the lowest depths of moral and spiritual degradation. Shoghi Effendi
He is clear to say:
“These requirements are none other than a high sense of moral rectitude in their social and administrative activities, absolute chastity in their individual lives, and complete freedom from prejudice in their dealings with peoples of a different race, class, creed, or color.” Shoghi Effendi
“A rectitude of conduct, an abiding sense of undeviating justice, unobscured by the demoralizing influences which a corruption-ridden political life so strikingly manifests; a chaste, pure, and holy life, unsullied and unclouded by the indecencies, the vices, the false standards, which an inherently deficient moral code tolerates, perpetuates, and fosters; a fraternity freed from that cancerous growth of racial prejudice, which is eating into the vitals of an already debilitated society—these are the ideals which the American believers must, from now on, individually and through concerted action, strive to promote, in both their private and public lives, ideals which are the chief propelling forces that can most effectively accelerate the march of their institutions, plans, and enterprises, that can guard the honor and integrity of their Faith, and subdue any obstacles that may confront it in the future.” Shoghi Effendi
Studying these two illuminating books side by side is refreshing as well as frightening at the same time.
In 1913 a year before the break of World War one, Abdu’l-Baha, just freed from 40 long years of imprisonment and exile in Palestine at the hand of two most powerful Empires, the Ottoman and Persian, addressed His audience in his Paris Talks. Though in his late sixties he looked frail like a 90-year-old man. Answering the question of how he endured 40 years in prison, He said: “the only prison is the prison of ones own self”. Abdu’l-Baha was powerful in his resolve to do all in His power to awaken humanity to the critical decisions of their time.
He explained the spiritual principle of the organic oneness of all humanity that must guide and protect humanity from falling into the trap of the divisive whispers of Darth Vader. He said: “Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. And one of my most favorite quotes that guides my path:
“ Each man has been placed on a post of honor which he must not desert. A humble workman who commits an injustice is as much to blame as a rebound tyrant. Thus we all have our choice between justice and injustice. I hope that each one of you will become just, and direct your thoughts towards the unity of mankind; that you will never harm your neighbors not speak ill of anyone; that you will respect the rights of all men, and be more concerned for the interests of others than for your own.”…Abdu’l-Baha Paris Talks
He also shed light on the concealed yet most vital function of justice, appearance of unity among humanity.
“The light of man is justice. Quench it not with the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny. The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men…” Abdu’l-Baha in Paris Talks 1912-13
I love to hear what you out there say about these thoughts.
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