February 28, 2015, Prescott- Over the past several days, we Baha’is have been participating in Ayyam-i-Ha, the gift-giving days signaling the approach of our liturgical year’s end. We then will fast for the final month of the year, at least those of us who are between the ages of 15-70, and whose physical circumstances do not pose a risk to health.
During this time, people have indulged in a bit of fol-de-rol, online, regarding a certain multi-coloured dress. I’ve weighed in on the matter, tongue in cheek, and see no harm in such activities. All the same, the heinousness of many, around the world, also continues. Angry, misanthropic men indulged themselves in the wanton destruction of ancient treasures, in a museum of Mosul, Iraq, much as they savage Christian and Muslim alike, in the territories unfortunate enough to have fallen under their control. The same process repeats itself in northern Nigeria, western Myanmar and pockets of the resurgent nation of Somalia. No one in those places is safe.
Here at home, a human monster is using a motor vehicle as a weapon, aiming it at other drivers, striking their parked vehicles and generally trying to instill fear in a peaceful neighbourhood, towards God knows what end.
Every community has to deal with the unbalanced. For me, it is well that I have personal faith and its various avenues towards achieving balance in my life. I am grateful for my friends and family, for the essential oils and organic foods that have kept me out of harm’s way, physically, over the past year or two. It’s a tough row to hoe, being mildly autistic yet capable of holding positions of responsibility and, most importantly, being able to see other people’s point of view.
The Hopi world view was presented, nearly thirty years ago, in a film entitled “Qoyaniqatsi”, or “World Out of Balance”. Man’s departure from the world of nature was a central theme of this film. Nature, by itself, struggles to maintain balance, and by itself is generally successful in that regard. Humankind can maintain balance, in itself and with nature, only by following physical and natural laws, of which “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the most basic. To achieve and maintain balance, one must feel connected with all things.
It is the disconnect that many have felt, for some time, that underlies the savagery we see, continuously, in so much of the world. There are no easy answers to resolving the rage of Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Burmese Buddhist extremists, al-Shabab or any of the bullies who who cause distress, to a lesser extent, in communities around the Earth. There is, however, a slow process of regeneration taking place, simultaneous to the destruction. Balance will be restored, and in one state of being (physical or spiritual), each of us will see it.