This day is among the more solemn for us Baha’is. On July 9, 1850, Baha’ullah’s Immediate Predecessor, whose title is al-Bab, or “The Gate”, was executed by firing squad, after having been held in three separate prisons.
Al-Bab’s basic message was that it was time for mankind to prepare for One Who would unite the human race, by spiritual principles. It was al-Bab’s purpose to pave the way for this Messenger, much as John the Baptist did for Christ.
As this was a challenge to Islamic orthodoxy, the mullahs prevailed upon the government of Persia (now Iran) to imprison al-Bab and oppress His followers. This went on for about five years, and when the Babi Faith grew anyway, execution became the method of choice for “containment” of the new faith.
The Faith of al-Bab was succeeded by the Baha’i Faith, with Baha’ullah’s Revelation in 1853, while He was in prison in Teheran, for having followed the Teachings of His Immediate Predecessor. The execution of al-Bab was only an accelerant to the growth of our Faith, first in Persia, then, gradually world-wide.
Between 200-300 of us gathered at San Diego Baha’i Center at noon on July 9. We offered prayers and solemnly reflected on the events mentioned above.
Before this solemn event, I spent some time at the nearby campus of the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution. Here are some of the larger buildings of this venerable institution:
After leaving San Diego, I had the unique experience of stopping in Palm Springs, which offered a temperature of 116. I chose not to take the tram up Chino Canyon, to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. This was a budget thing, not a heat thing. The top would have offered 71 degrees.
Here are some photos of the area.
I will go back and take the tram, right before New Year’s.
Now for the kitsch.
Marilyn was the first woman on whom I had a crush- at age 10. It hit me hard when she passed on.
The heat was what it was, and 116 was not quite what she, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis had in mind in the 1959 classic film. I cooled off nicely with a seafood salad and plenty of ice water, at Blue Coyote Grill.
Most diners chose to go inside. I found it quite pleasant, though, in the shaded courtyard, under the misters.
So, the day was an eclectic mix of sacred, profane and much in between.
So as to keep the right perspective, I will end with a house of worship in Palm Springs.
I am inspired by the workings of my Faith, awestruck by the power of nature and amused by the harmless aspects of pop culture. Now, though, it’s time to stay close to home for a couple of months, and take the inner journeys offered by the “Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels.