What Is Always Known

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May 9, 2021- One thing about the mothers, and mother-figures, whom we honour today, is that there is nothing that escapes them, at least at the deepest level. My mother knows, even a continent away, that I am essentially doing better than I have in a long time. She knows that there are a few challenges I face and a few people, some far away, who want to take from me, without giving back. She knows that my siblings are also, essentially, in safe places. Most importantly, she knows that her decision to adjust her lifestyle is the right one.

Baha’u’llah teaches us to be fair to self and others. Mom was teaching us that same thing, when I was the eldest of five. We were never deprived and when, in her humanness, she did not do the right thing by one of us, she made amends ten-fold. The lesson Mother taught, of compassion, has been one of two abiding truths that I have incorporated into my being. The other is to temper that with not being the foil of con artists and those who take full advantage of others,.

So have I balanced my life, and will, as I told another group of people earlier this evening, focus on building group cooperation. It was our family working as a team that got us through downturns and the challenges of caring for those members of our family who suffered from disease. It is our family working as a team that will bring us to say farewell to our family home of sixty-six years and guarantee that the woman we’ve always known has our back will know that we always have hers.

Upholding the Timeless

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December 26, 2020- “Stand, there’s a cross for you to bear, things to go through if you’re going anywhere.”– Sylvester “Sly” Stone

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder, Maulana Karenga, identified as seven traditional African values, with a day set aside to celebrate each of the values:

  1. Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
  3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  5. Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  6. Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  7. Imani (Faith):  To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. ” -Courtesy of Wikipedia.

One of the topics of discussion at our Christmas gathering, last night, was the underlying fear that people have of ideas that seem counter to American values. If one looks at what is celebrated during Kwanzaa, the festival is all about building up a community-without the taking advantage of the least among us, which, when one looks carefully at both the complaints of conservative small business owners and self-styled “socialists”,is a common concern of both groups.

No one in their right mind wants to be a “useful idiot’, the kind of dupe of which Vladimir Lenin bragged about having fooled, after the Bolshevik Revolution. Cooperative economics, which lends itself to ownership by the workers in an enterprise, rather than by the State, ought to be compatible with American entrepreneurship. I have visited a cafe, owned by a traditional conservative couple, for several years now. Their skills at consulting with their workers and the team that has been built, have established an admirable example of how even the busiest of enterprises may be managed in a climate of equanimity. I have seen the same, in another business, owned by cooperative socialists. This has been the strength of American workers, in the past, and there is no reason for that atmosphere to go away.

It is authoritarianism, regardless of social orientation, that presents the problem for people on both ends of the sociopolitical spectrum. The struggle, referred to as Imani, is primarily a shared experience, with both traditional conservatives and those wishing to alter our economic structure, for the good of the marginalized, wanting to hold back what they see as tyranny.

For both viewpoints, self-determination is a critical goal.

These Are What Matter

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October 27, 2020-

A “new poll” chirpily predicted a “surprise Republican blowout”, next Tuesday.

I don’t care.

What matters is what happens afterward. Regardless of whether this poll is genuine, or just a fabrication, designed to “make the liberals cry again”, the fact remains that, on Wednesday, November 4, on December 9 and again on January 21, we are each going to be essentially the same people we were, before the voting took place.

The thing that matters most is that no one loses heart. There are universal truths, with which it seems all people of good will ought be comfortable:

All life is sacred;

Everyone bleeds the same;

Calling another person a derogatory name, does not make it so;

Everyone is worthy of being treated with respect;

No one person, or group, is entitled to lord themselves over others;

Children are worthy of being loved and nurtured by everyone in their community;

Elders are worthy of being treasured and safeguarded by everyone in their community;

Our planet, and its life forces, deserve good stewardship, not ravaging for the sake of making more money than the maker knows how to handle;

All knowledge comes from the same Source-and it is not a human one.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 57: Uprising

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July 27, 2020-

I was mildly upbraided this morning, by one of the fiercest women I’ve ever met. Stating only what she saw, her caution was that I was heading into the realm of puritanism.

I am, at present, watching a series entitled “Cursed”, about the origins of Excalibur, the sword of Anglo-Saxon mythology. It follows the life of a young Wiccan, pursued by various members of the political and social establishment of that time. Although fictional, it carries several elements of what actually transpired, in the days of an oppressive Church.

It brought me back, to a feeling in my life that I’d long buried and nearly forgotten. It brought me back to the fact that, growing up, I hated the Church. I loved Jesus, with all my heart and soul, so I went to Mass and even served as a substitute altar boy, during the summer of my thirteenth year. Yet, I hated the suffocating power that dripped from the mouths and countenances of all but a few of the priests. I hated it, and had to keep that feeling buried. My parents and family would never have understood.

Only love of Christ kept me in the fold, until I saw the power of Baha’i, the Unity of all Mankind, of all Life and of all Truth. Still, I kept this anger buried. It came to the surface, as I was watching the second episode of this series and remembered the danger of which my much younger friend was speaking.

Puritanism, the control of minds through delusion, gaslighting and fear, has indeed come to grip a good part of our society anew. Margaret Atwood, in her two novels on the, as yet, fictional future country of Gilead, outlines just how easy it could be, for a relatively small group of people to obtain control of the United States, by tapping into the flowing subconscious stream of Puritanism.

It is feared, by some, that a future dictatorship would most likely come from the Left. That’s understandable, given that the primary remaining totalitarian states are all rooted in Communism. It is also rooted in the fear that a future American regime is already putting in place travel restrictions tied to acceptance of a vaccine and personal identification system which will, by force of technology, result in ironclad control of the populace.

I see this as reverse psychology. Fervent Christians have always feared humanism and atheism. There are those who may well be counting on this, and not for the purpose of protecting Christians and others of Faith, but for exploiting that fear, and taking control for their own nefarious ends.

So, regardless of who wishes to oppress, I am mentally preparing myself. Avoiding paranoia, just watching and listening carefully, day by day, in this little Home Base of mine, I look at both sociopolitical forces, and then focus my eyes forward-on what I WANT to see in the world.

I want safety and freedom for my family, friends and neighbours, for the children and youth, for those who suffer, both those in the middle and those on the margins. I want to see a world of equanimity. I want to see a world in which power is truly derived from love and light. We may well have to walk through several Valleys of the Shadow to get there. We will, I’m sure, have to overcome many who try to take power in an ad hoc manner, through deception, gaslighting and false assurance.

It is time for all people of the heart to set aside the dark thoughts imposed on them, by any and all whose only interest is in top-down control. It is time for uprising; a loving, just, but forthright uprising. We, the People, can truly rule ourselves.

Fire Sign

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January 20, 2019, Scottsdale-

Today is World Religion Day, so after a regular monthly study session, in Prescott Valley, I headed down to the Baha’i Community Center here.  There is an annual observance, honouring the commonality of the world’s religions, and most of the major faiths of North America were represented – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikh, Buddhism and Baha’i. (Only the Native American traditional faiths were unrepresented.  We consider Catholicism and LDS to be Christianity, as well as the denominations of Protestantism).

This also being the weekend of the Women’s March, the theme of today’s gathering was “The Role of Women in Religion”.  It is quite commonly held that the various faiths hold women down, to one extent or another.  While a  careful examination of various Scriptures shows that this is not so. it is very clear that those who promulgated the major religions, after the Ascensions of their Founders, saw fit to cherry-pick and manipulate the meanings of certain verses, so as to subvert women’s equanimity with men-in all too many instances.  I will have more to say about this matter, especially during March, which is Women’s History Month.

I want to note, regarding yesterday’s Women’s March, in Prescott, that several hundred people, of various political standpoints, managed to be in a small space together, displaying signs with  their points of view, and managing to not antagonize one another, at least while I was there.  This is as it should be.  One conservative woman, carrying a “pro-Trump” sign, nonetheless voiced agreement that women must be given the right to speak, on any issue, and be heard, on every issue.  Penny and her mother would be shouting in agreement, as do my mother and just about every woman in my family and in my circle of friends.

The fire of purification burns on, in their hearts and in my heart.

Here is a presentation, at any earlier event, by Rev. Renee Morgan Brooks, who sang today, as well.  She was a friend and collaborator of Penny’s.