Light, Out of Calamity

March 27, 2020-

In some of mankind’s darkest moments,  advances have come from the suffering, like small mammals coming forth after the Age of Dinosaurs.  These advances, in short order, became a part of the fabric of human culture.

After the Great Plague, of the Fourteenth Century, Europeans began to return to embracing science, rather than superstition, in treating illnesses.  The primacy of Cardinals and Bishops began to face widespread scrutiny, and the stirrings of Protestantism were felt.  The Catholic Church itself had to make changes, under Ignatius Loyola.  Advances in scientific discovery came, as a result of these trends.

After the American Civil War, the Red Cross was started, by Clara Barton, as a means of assisting soldiers, in time of calamity.  It quickly expanded to help society at large, in times of disaster.

After World War I, movements to assist disabled and unassisted veterans, in returning to civilian life began, with the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. These organizations still make large scale efforts to assist those who suffer from dislocation, or from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

After World War II, mass production of houses, the science of rocketry, television and large computers became part of the civilian world, having been first advanced within the military sphere.  From large, room-sized computers have come hundreds of technological products, many of them falling into the realm of nanotechnology.

Now, we will await the advances coming out of the struggle against Coronavirus Disease 2019.  Teleconferencing, already available for business, government and limited conversations between family members and other small groups, has exploded in use, as nearly every group, which conducted its business in person, has found ways to meet virtually. Even when the crisis has ended, I can see the sheer range of teleconferencing leading to its continued wide use among the public at large.  It will also greatly modify the educational process, even more than it has to date.

The retrofitting of factories that produce a wide variety of products, from airplanes to distilled spirits, are now also producing items that will help face the virus.  Ventilators, medical-grade masks and hand sanitizer will still need to be stockpiled, even after this virus has spent its rampage.  Preparedness will not soon, if ever, be relegated to the realm of memory.

There will be many tasks, which the technology and skill sets coming out of the current crisis will need to be called to perform. Not the least of these is completing the still gargantuan effort to provide all homes with clean, running water and reliable heat or cooling.  This work will occupy post-pandemic humanity for years, if not decades.

Out of  the darkness comes a greater light.  Baha’u’llah teaches:

“O SON OF MAN! My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.”



8 thoughts on “Light, Out of Calamity

  1. Hi Teacher,

    In the mid 80’s through the latter 90’s a mysterious sickness were killing gay men. By the end of the epidemic over a million gay men were dead. Amid that maelstrom, I stood, and watched over 300 of my friends die, a ghastly and sinister sickness. I was just watching a piece on “The AIDS memorial Quilt.” Reminiscing about the past, and how I mysteriously survived, all because of one man who said “Not on my watch.”

    Now another sinister virus is taking down everyone who encounters it. Contagion knows no borders, no sexuality, no creed, no race. It just kills indiscriminately. I see parallels from my past, today. We don’t have time to memorialize the dead, because they are dying so rapidly. I’ve said that in times like this, it challenges us to be more than we could be. To show humanity’s grasp of Working Together in commonality to keep our citizens alive, even in the darkest times. In the U.S. we know who has risen, and who has not.

    What will we remember when all is said and done?

    You kind of touched on the cyclical nature of Calamity and disaster. Sickness and War. And I guess today, we know what cycle we are in and what war we are fighting now. Will we succeed, or will we fail? Our workers need supplies, in order to save, and not fall ill themselves. i know, personally, what it is like to watch so many go to their deaths, in the way they are going right now, because it happened to me, and my friends.

    The difference today is, it is striking everyone and not just gay men. We were ignored for so long, until it was too late. Today, people are paying attention, because it is striking straight people in great numbers. So, yes, people are paying attention. In a sick way, karma is coming back round.

    The community who thought us unimportant and expendable because we were gay, is no more, but we know the U.S. administration feels that Americans are expendable because they infect the bottom dollar and the affect the markets to the degree that those in charge are going to loose a lot of money, so now they let Americans die, needlessly and miserably, painfully. That is sinister.

    What will history remember in the future ? Those who Rose to the Challenge or those who Balked ? I hope it is the former and not the latter.


    Liked by 1 person

    • History remembers both its heroes and its villains. Those who put their feet in the way of gay people and drug addicts, hoping for a “clearance disease” , got the opprobrium they deserved-especially the hypocritical preachers. I see that 45 has given in and invoked the Defense Production Act. Smokescreening and gaslighting never works, among an educated populace.


  2. I agree. The positive things that happen – animals returning, less pollution, etc – are all encouraging. But the real joy will come if after this outbreak action is taken globally to protect the earth and restore it. Anything less than that is a disservice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In these dark days we need to be ready to step into the light – metaphorically in the interest of human rights, the environment, and peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. Although that is my hope, time will tell if any of that is possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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