Saturday, September 22, 2012

On This Google Earth: Even as education and progress travel from West to East, so does the spiritual fire travel from East to West

Bonita's travels on Google earth have taken her to Scotland and Norway this week. -g


In very age of great spiritual darkness, a light is kindled in the East. So once again the light of the teachings of God has come unto you. Even as education and progress travel from West to East, so does the spiritual fire travel from East to West.

September 22nd, 1911.

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On Stages of Development: Knowledge applied to understanding our littler spiritual beings

Asean receiving tender care from his father Sean

Inherent in the Baha'i worldview is the idea of stages of development. I was talking with Sean at Tiger's practice about it the other day. From Abraham, to Moses, to Christ, to Mohammed, to the Bab, to Baha'u'llah, humanity has evolved spiritually. Knowledge of the developmental stages that children go through, when understood, opens the doors to promoting optimal development with our littler spiritual beings. -gw

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Friday, September 14, 2012

On a Novel Addition In All Its Graphic Detail: I suddenly realized this was a very dynamic Faith

The first graphic novel by Baha'i Publishing. Pretty neat, huh! An excerpt from an interview with the author is below. -gw

As a kid, I couldn’t pay attention to any Baha’i classes. I was basically there to play and have fun. But something happened when our teachers started sharing Babi history- in all its graphic detail. I suddenly realized this was a very dynamic Faith. It was full of awesome heroism, terrible horror, and profound sacrifice. Stories of courage honor and valor beyond human capacity. Suddenly I felt the gravity of the Revelation. One so strong people cast their lives away like it was nothing. As I studied art later in life, I wanted this to be conveyed in a medium for youth and young adults. Something that would grip people and show them the power of the Faith through graphic novels.

On Ludi Johnson At 90: Still pioneering and, yes, she's on Facebook

There were many stories shared at the University of Illinois Baha'i Club reunion, naturally. I was able to capture many of them on video -- I have 175 video clips to savor, some of which I must share. Like these of Ludi Johnson. -gw

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On The University of Illinois Baha'i Club Reunion: Oh yes, those were the days

Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days
George and Tink go way back
Ramin & Chuck
Group hug
Baha'i t-shirts quilt
Honoring Garreta
I had the bounty of going back in history last weekend. I attended a reunion of the University of Illinios Baha'i Club. Champaign-Urbana is where I first heard of the Faith in 1965 and where I declared my belief in Baha'u'llah in 1967. To see souls I haven't seen for 45 years gave a blessed jolt to my brain and tug on my emotions. The U of I Baha'i Club is one of the oldest Baha'i campus associations in the U.S. -gw
Circa 1965
Dancing back in the day

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Being Visited By Mr Big Bot: Next time, sign the guestbook, OK?

While I was gone to Illinois and not checking my computer I was visited by a robot.
Internet bots, also known as web robots, WWW robots or simply bots, are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.
Actually I am visited by one particular bot many times a day, one that goes by the name of "" in particular, according to my Baha'i Views Sitemeter statistics.
But someother mysterious bot visited my Flickr account and ran up my Flickr view counts for 9-7- and 9-8 astronomically. Whereas the average number of hits to Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie on Flickr currently is around 2000 a day, on the 7th the actual number of hits was 17,748 and on the 8th 36,035. Every photo and video was visited 1 to 5 times. The net result was that my all-time view count advanced vigorously almost to the one and a half million mark.
I don't know what the bot was looking for. I trust there was no malevalent purpose. But, hey, next time Mr Big Bot, sign my guest book. OK? -gw

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On Make Peace, Build Community: Making an effort

A family tries to get to know their neighbors on a regular basis in the newest video uploaded to the Baha'i National Center YouTube channel.-gw

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On Strengthen Thy People: Whereby the face of the Cause will radiate in Thy dominion

The friends gathered for the Cluster Agencies Meeting (the CAM) were in a not so rare state. They were laughing their heads off much of the evening, as the video clip above proves. But they got it together and managed to sing an incredibly lovely rendition of an excerpt of a Baha'i prayer often said to support expansion efforts. -gw
I beg of Thee, by that Word through which Thy proof was perfected among Thy creatures and Thy testimony was fulfilled amidst Thy servants, to strengthen Thy people in that whereby the face of the Cause will radiate in Thy dominion, the standards of Thy power will be planted among Thy servants, and the banners of Thy guidance will be raised throughout Thy dominions.
Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Prayers

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Monday, September 10, 2012

On Behavioral Sleep Techniques to Help Infants Sleep Better: The news gets out

Below is a link to a fascinating article that came out online five days ago. Maybe you are reading about this news for the first time here. The reality is that there are already 463 sites that are touting this information --  in just 5 days -- my Google search informs me. That is the power of the Internet. Science can inform parenting practices. There is tremendous curiosity about how to be effective with children. Infant mental health need not be considered an esoteric subject. Its truths are of interest to the general public. -gw  
A new study by researchers from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute claims that "controlled comforting" and "camping out" (behavioral sleep technique) not only helps infants sleep better, it also reduces depression levels in mothers.

Researchers, who conducted the first ever study of its kind to have looked into the long term effects of these sleep techniques, say they are safe to be used in the long-term.


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On Living the Life We Sing About: The tragic life of Amy Winehouse

If you love R&B and soul, you know about retro soul singer, Amy Winehouse. Her voice is compelling. Her story is tragic. Listen to her music and you are drawn right in. But her songs are hard to listen to because of the lyrical content. Hers is relationship music and you can see trouble coming in just about every song. People who live like the songs she sings suffer. There are laws of God. The spiritual laws of God are as real as the physical laws of God's universe. Ignore the laws and stuff happens. Lives can become unbearable.
As I am wont to say, quoting nationally recognized poet and Baha'i Robert Hayden in a World Order magazine from the 60's, there is art of affirmation and art of negation. There is a place for both. But some of artistic creations are positively toxic.
Did Amy Winehouse live like the songs she sang about? I don't know, I haven't researched her life, but I know she's gone.
Sometimes making a comparison is positively unfair. But when I think of the best of R&B/soul, I think of gems like "Wake Up Everbody." The songs of Amy Winehouse -- I pray for the progress of her soul -- are not in the same league as that Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes/Teddy Pendergrass wake-up call. -gw

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Monday, September 03, 2012

On Distinguishing the Spring From the Autumn and Heat From Cold: The end of the camping season

It's not quite autumn yet, but the temperatures at night had us pulling the down comforters over us at our campsite at 4400 feet. We just got back from 3 days and two nights in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest three hours south of Tacoma. September camping is exquisite. Five years ago Bonita and I were up on both sides of the northern Cascades around this time, as this 2007 blog post on Flitzy Phoebie attests. We felt the nip of cold in the nighttime air that camping trip, too. I can distinguish heat from cold -- it was cold. -gw

Blackpine Lake

Diablo Lake

So great shall be the discernment of this seeker that he will discriminate between truth and falsehood even as he doth distinguish the sun from shadow. If in the uttermost corners of the East the sweet savours of God be wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale their fragrance, even though he be dwelling in the uttermost ends of the West. He will likewise clearly distinguish all the signs of God—His wondrous utterances, His great works, and mighty deeds—from the doings, words and ways of men, even as the jeweller who knoweth the gem from the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring from autumn and heat from cold. 

On Hairdressers As Natural Helpers: A Baha'i Views post from 2006

Baha'i study circles are an integral part of Baha'i life. I have been posting on their significance for as long as I have been doing this blog. It will be seven years this coming January. 

Read the rest of the story, the original post in its entirety here. -gw 

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