My girlfriend has just, suddenly and out of the blue, broken up with me because she needs to “get back to the Baha’i Faith”. Even though Islam persecutes Baha’is mercilessly, she will defend Islam and excoriate me for criticising it. None of it makes any sense to anyone but her. So, what am I trying to say here? Go figure!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Posted by GWD at 8:27 AM
The Baha’i Temple for South America, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, employs both translucent stone and innovative glass technology as the means of generating and manifesting both the physiological and spiritual delights of natural light embodied in architecture.
Set against the stirring background of the Andeon mountain range, the Temple is designed as a crystallising of light-as-expression, an evanescent structure of white alabaster and glass; a place of pure luminescence. During the day, the soft undulating alabaster and glass skin of the Temple forms its outer expression. At night, the image reverses; the entire volume becomes a warm totalised glow, with the inner form of the building visible through the glass.
The inner form of the Temple, suspended within its radiant exterior envelope, is a volume defined by finely articulated tracery of wood, offering a delicately ornamental inner surface, rich in texture, warm by nature, acoustically practical and responsive to the cultural givens of the area. The Temple’s nine enfolding wings, identical in form, are organically shaped and twisted slightly to produce a nest-like structure, readable as a soft undulating dome positioned around a raised base. The Temple is to be sited amidst a radiating garden comprising of nine reflecting lily pools and nine prayer-gardens. The primary approach to the Temple reveals a sinuous, ethereal, light-washed structure.
The Temple touches lightly on the ground, its base having become virtually transparent, with each of the nine wings practically floating in the horizon. While firmly grounded, in terms of its engineering, the form of the Temple speaks nevertheless of ascendance. It is hoped that the Temple’s design will be seen as a restrained interplay of seeming contradictions; movement against stillness, the building’s profound rootedness made to seem buoyant, the building reading as a symmetrical structure that seems possessed of a performative spirit.
Posted by GWD at 1:59 AM
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Posted by GWD at 7:58 PM
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
on 11/16/2010 @ 9:49am
From a Facebook Friend:
"3 trees down in Jefferson park. One is broke at the ground, the other two pulled up at the roots."
Our son's home in Port Orchard is still without power since a wind storm on Monday, the same one that had me staying overnight at my office in Bremerton. There are a lot of trees in Kitsap County. Some 57 homes were hit by falling trees during the storm, but it was the impact fallen limbs had on power lines that had the greatest effect, with tens of thousands of residents all over the county suffering the same fate as my son Ruhullah and his family.
Monday's storm was not the first to come through the area. It was just last week that a storm knocked out power here in the city. It stopped the presses at Tacoma's News Tribune. It also brought down precious trees in Jefferson Park, under which we have hosted Baha'i Feasts in years past. Here is Tacoma Joe's pencil drawing of the Twin Trees followed by a bit of the Tribune's coverage.
Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It bloweth in every direction, as bidden by its Creator. So should be every one that claimeth to be a lover of the one true God. It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward; and he who shall turn away, shall receive none other than his own punishment.
Posted by GWD at 8:46 PM
Unlike Rick Warren, McLaren isn't actually a Christian -- he's some kind of neo-Bahá'í-ist or Bhakti Krishna-ist with an interest in the Christian narrative as it relates to his own personal collected Upanishads. And the more he speaks, the less likely it is that he's going to come back around to the Christian faith which he allegedly started in before he got so wise.
Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial voice in the emergent church movement. He was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" in 2005, and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_McLaren
One word may be likened unto fire, another unto light, and the influence which both exert is manifest in the world. Therefore an enlightened man of wisdom should primarily speak with words as mild as milk, that the children of men may be nurtured and edified thereby and may attain the ultimate goal of human existence which is the station of true understanding and nobility.
Baha'u'llah, LAWḤ-I-MAQṢÚD (Tablet of Maqṣúd) http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/TB/tb-12-printable.html
Posted by GWD at 4:13 PM
On How the Baha'i Faith is Protected from Division and the Formation of Sects: Websites devoted to the Baha'i Covenant
For several years now I have carried on the sidebar of my WordPress version of Baha'i Views a link to a website that is devoted to helping a visitor understand what is unique about the Baha'i Covenant in ensuring that the Faith remain united in the face of forces that in earlier religious dispensations led to division and the formation of sects. -gw
The goal of this Web site is to provide a place to study the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith on the subject of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh. This is not an official Bahá’í site (you can find the official web site of the Bahá’í Faith here: www.bahai.org), and while the editor/admin prefers to remain unnamed, he also wishes to make clear that he subscribes to these fundamental concepts:
- Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb are the Twin Manifestations of God for this day.
- Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the Kitab-i-Ahd appointed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the Center of His Covenant and the infallible interpreter of His Cause. As He said: “When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.”
- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament appointed his grandson Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Cause of God, the “…priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas…” and said: “…the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One.”
- Since the beloved Guardian had no children (and the remainder of his family had broken the Covenant) and thus could not appoint a successor, after his passing the Hands of the Cause of God as the “Chief Stewards of Bahá’u'lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth” called for the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963.
- The Universal House of Justice — a body that was ordained by Bahá’u'lláh and confirmed in the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi — is now the sole and the infallible head of the Bahá’í Faith. It is to this body that all Bahá’ís must turn and in the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “…that House is under the protection, unerring guidance and care of the one true Lord. He shall guard it from error and will protect it under the wing of His sanctity and infallibility.” and again “…whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God…”
It is hoped that students of the Baha’i Covenant will draw from the materials gathered here a stronger connection with the infallible guidance that has been provided to the Bahá’í Community in its efforts to transform humanity. This guidance has protected the Bahá’í Faith from breaking into schism for the past 164 years and will ensure its ability to grow from strength to strength in the coming centuries. Through our understanding and deepening knowledge of this “unique and wondrous system”, we will ensure that our steps will walk firmly in the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and enable us to more fittingly protect and preserve the Cause of God.
The Unity of Bahá'ís
In order to be effective in promoting world unity the Bahá'í Faith must itself be firmly united. Bahá'í unity has been assured by provisions in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá that establish authoritative guidance on the intent of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation and on the administration of the affairs of the international Bahá'í community. Throughout the critical first century of the Faith's existence these provisions have protected the Bahá'í community from sectarianism, and have enabled it to adapt itself to the requirements of a rapidly evolving civilization. The institutions which embody this authority are the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice .
Posted by GWD at 2:20 PM
On Photos for the Month of Qawl: Good speech is like the sun which has risen from the horizon of the heaven of knowledge
Good speech and truthfulness are, in loftiness of position and rank, like the sun which has risen from the horizon of the heaven of knowledge.
“They Who are the Luminaries of Truth and the Mirrors reflecting the light of Divine Unity,” Bahá’u’lláh explains in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, “in whatever age and cycle they are sent down from their invisible habitations of ancient glory unto this world to educate the souls of men and endue with grace all created things, are invariably 115 endowed with an all-compelling power and invested with invincible sovereignty… These sanctified Mirrors, these Day-Springs of ancient glory are one and all the exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its essence and ultimate purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory… Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that can never fade… Human tongue can never befittingly sing their praise, and human speech can never unfold their mystery.” “Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne,” He adds, “are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person… They all abide in the same tabernacle, soar in the same heaven, are seated upon the same throne, utter the same speech, and proclaim the same Faith… They only differ in the intensity of their revelation and the comparative potency of their light… That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they Who are the Day-Springs of God’s attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names did not actually possess it.”
THE DISPENSATION OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/WOB/wob-37-printable.html
Although some of those present urged them saying, “Say merely ‘We are not of this sect,’ and it is sufficient, and will be the means of your deliverance and protection,” they would by no means consent, but rather confirmed and declared it with eloquent speech and affecting utterance, so that the rage and violence of the Imám-Jum’ih boiled over, and, not satisfied with killing and destroying them, they inflicted sundry indignities on their bodies after death to mention which is not fitting, and of which the details are beyond the power of speech. Indeed in such wise was the blood of these two brothers shed that even the Christian priest of Julfá cried out, lamented, and wept on that day; and this event befell after such sort that everyone wept over the fate of those two brothers, for during the whole period of their life they had never distressed the feelings even of an ant, while by general report they had in the time of the famine in Persia spent all their wealth in relieving the poor and distressed. Yet, notwithstanding this reputation, were they slain with such cruelty in the midst of the people!
Posted by GWD at 6:53 AM
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Instead of shopping on Black Friday, why not listen to one another? (Could be a great companion activity for people participating in Buy Nothing Day.)
`Abdu'l-Bahá had stated that since May 23 was also the day that the Báb declared his mission, and should be exclusively associated with him, that that day should under no circumstances be celebrated as his day of birth. However, as the Bahá'ís begged for a day to be celebrated as `Abdu'l-Bahá's birthday, he gave them November 26, 180 days after the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, to be observed as the day of the appointment of the Centre of the Covenant. The holiday was originally known as the Jashn-i-A’zam in Persian (The Greatest Festival), because `Abdu'l-Bahá was known as the Greatest Branch; in the West, the holiday became known as the Day of the Covenant.
Posted by GWD at 4:09 AM
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Monday, November 22, 2010
And Tonight the World Stands Still: Becomes motionless like unto ice locked in a frost-bound mountain
...when He chanteth words of praise and glorification of God all Paradise becomes motionless like unto ice locked in the heart of a frost-bound mountain.
Posted by GWD at 9:14 PM
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Posted by GWD at 6:46 AM
Friday, November 19, 2010
Posted by GWD at 7:45 AM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Posted by GWD at 6:47 AM
Facebook is candy for my mind. I go there to get the latest update on the Baha'is in Iran, click on link to protest this, endorse that, like, dislike, ROTFLMAO and to online chat with a brother in Japan, a friend in Haifa, family in DR. Its my Zen garden.
Facebook has its place. But just as blogging cannot take the place of a personal journal, FB cannot take the place of a blog. When is the last time anyone scrolled back to see what Ricky said last week? Never. When have I scrolled back to see what my Rusty guy or *G* said a month or a year ago? More often than never!
Blogging takes courage, especially when you don't delete archives and right there in front of everyone you have to eat crow. You allow people watch your thoughts change over the passage of time. You share as you become passionate about something, how it waxes and wanes until it suddenly is no longer a part of your life. You try to be ever so careful of not impinging on the lives of loved ones, all the while they are the fodder for the grist mill. Your fingers itching to scratch the words just spoken out on the smooth, empty, blog blotter. How many movies and sitcoms, at the end of a marital spat, have used the line, "Don't put this in your blog!" ala Julie & Julia?
Posted by GWD at 6:21 AM
Monday, November 15, 2010
Posted by GWD at 5:18 PM
Posted by GWD at 12:44 PM
Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently
Dear FriendsPlease find pics of the recent Junior Youth Conference Held Last weekend in Bangalore at
Posted by GWD at 11:42 AM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Posted by GWD at 8:56 AM
Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day. We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We miss you already. We'll be right here at http://cdbaby.com/, patiently awaiting your return.
Kat is in the area this weekend, I'm delighted to report. She played at a devotional up north last night, and she is playing here in Tacoma at Tim and Deb's devotional in a couple of hours. We are thrilled to be able to hear Kat Music live in the City of Destiny. (Yup, that really is Tacoma's official descriptive appellation.). -gw
Katharine Key is a singer-songwriter who loves playing music to uplift people's hearts and enrich their lives. She is classically trained in piano and self-taught on guitar, but only plays so that she can sing -- her first passion. She is a Baha'i, and her music is heavily influenced by the Baha'i principles and writings. Katharine says, "if my music uplifts people's hearts, then I am happy, as I have achieved my aim."
Posted by GWD at 8:43 AM
Saturday, November 13, 2010
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Friday, November 12, 2010
Posted by GWD at 7:42 AM
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Posted by GWD at 11:35 AM
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Hailing from such disparate locales as Tennessee (Price), Iowa (Kearney), Minneapolis (Olson), and Philadelphia (Calabrese), Lake Street Dive first gathered in a room together when they were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. “Mr. McDuck assembled the four of us, said we were now Lake Street Dive, and we were a ‘free country’ band,” Bridget Kearney remembers. “He wrote this on a chalkboard in the ensemble room that we had our first rehearsal in. We intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style – like Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. It sounded terrible! But the combination of people and personalities actually made a lot of sense and we had a great time being around each other and making music together.” Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop music virtues: solid, evocative song craft; propulsive grooves; and Price’s disarming, forthright vocals. However, it’s a personal strain of pop that is refracted through the band members’ rich backgrounds
Posted by GWD at 3:30 PM
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Monday, November 08, 2010
Weaving around between graves, on an awkward stumbling trek, Mansoureh showed me to Mrs. Afnan's grave. She passed away a few years ago, leaving her beautiful big residence to the Baha'i community of Debrecen. That's where I'm now staying! So we paused at her grave and prayed for her soul too. We were surrounded by thousands of candles wearily trying to fight back a chilly dark night, and we realized that both of our prayers mentioned light: her's I think mentioned "light upon light" and mine "plunge into the sea of light, in the world of mysteries."
Posted by GWD at 5:44 PM
Posted by GWD at 4:39 PM
According to the laws of Sharia in Iran, if a Muslim man is murdered, his family may be compensated according to the price of one hundred camels. If the same crime is committed to a Muslim woman, her family is entitled to the price of fifty camels. If a Baha’i is murdered, no camels apply.
I am of The People With No Camel.
Based on a true story, The People With No Camel weaves two journeys of freedom: a ten-year old girl escapes Iran in 1981 with her family, due to the heavy persecutions they face as Baha’is, carrying nothing but three little handbags, new identities, and faith. The novel then takes a turn. The girl has become a woman and the narrative shifts to a brief parable. Infused with Persian mythical characters, the woman’s quest to save her dying forest turns into her own spiritual journey – the search for ultimate freedom.
Her more recent photo publication is Wishes in Black and White, a book about race relations in America which was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
She has devoted much of her work to children by reintroducing the role of the arts as a tool to awaken the human spirit and as a means to raise social awareness. She is the co-founder of The Children’s Theatre Company of New York (www.childrenstheatrecompany.org), which has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, NY1 Parenting Report, and has performed at the United Nations’ Special Session on Children with Nelson Mandela.
Roya is the founder of Nobility Within, dedicated to endeavors that highlight the inherent nobility of us all. One of its programs, Noble-icious! is a program where children explore and polish their spiritual qualities, learn about each other, and support one another in becoming agents of change in the world they are inheriting.
Her latest project is the completion of her novel The People with No Camel.
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On a French version of the Baha'i Prayer "Remover of Difficulties": By the Montreal based band The Hidden Words
A French version of the well-known Baha'i prayer, the "Remover of Difficulties", performed by Montreal-based band The Hidden Words. Adaptation française de la célèbre prière Baha'ie, chantée par le groupe Montréalais The Hidden Words. From a show at the Ottawa Baha'i Centre, Oct. 30, 2010.
Lors d'un spectacle au Centre Baha'i d'Ottawa, le 30 octobre 2010
Posted by GWD at 7:14 AM
Friday, November 05, 2010
On Baha'i Plays Role With Council for a Parliament of World Religions: Robert Henderson elected a new Trustee
In a commitment to extending its reach to diverse religious and spiritual communities, the Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, at its October 24-25, 2010 meeting, elected seven new Trustees for a three-year term:
Ms. Anju Bhargava (Hindu)
Mr. Kirit Daftary (Jain)
Dr. Robert Henderson (Baha’i)
Ms. Mary Nelson (Christian)
Mr. Christopher Peters (Native American)
Dr. Anantanand Rambachan (Hindu)
Mr. Kuldeep Singh (Sikh)
The roots of the Council go back to the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, hosted in conjunction with the World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, marking the first time in history the traditions of East and West met for formal interreligious dialogue.
Robert C. Henderson is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, the national governing body of the American Bahá’í community. He has extensive experience in the fields of business, government, and education. He co-founded Henderson Zorich Consulting, which specializes in management consulting and leadership and diversity training, with his daughter, Dr. Camille Henderson. His clients have included such Fortune 100 companies as Amoco, AT&T, General Electric, Hallmark, Mobil, United Technologies, and Xerox, as well as the Chicago White Sox. Dr. Henderson served as a Federal Commissioner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission and designed and led meetings of California Supreme Court members, judges and lawyers to establish a California State Supreme Court Commission on Race and Ethnic Bias. Dr. Henderson’s public speaking engagements are numerous; highlights include a plenary address given at the invitation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the international conference, “Educating Girls: A Development Imperative,” and an address to an “Education Against Hatred” Seminar at Haifa University sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. He was invited by President Clinton’s Advisory Board on Race to participate in the religious forum held in Louisville, Kentucky. Robert Henderson holds a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts (1976). He has published several articles and books on management systems and in-service training programs.
Posted by GWD at 4:34 PM
I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide? I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I'm way up here
It's crystal clear
That now I'm in a whole new world with you
Now I'm in a whole new world with you
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath - it gets better
I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back to where I used to be A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I'll chase them anywhere
There's time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you A whole new world
That's where we'll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me "A Whole New World," from Disney's Alladin
Posted by GWD at 11:55 AM