The “Right Way”


February 10, 2023- The little girl brought her drawing of a Minotaur to me, seeking approval. I told her, in all sincerity, that it was fantastic. Two dozen other drawings of mythological creatures, and the Parthenon, were presented to my appreciative eyes, over the course of the three-hour span. Even the ones I only saw when they were turned in, for the regular teacher to see, on Monday, were truly amazing. Every artist put his/her stamp on the work.

This meant that no two drawings were the same, and as I told one child, who was comparing her work unfavourably with her friend’s drawing, everyone is entitled to create, within their own mental framework and each of us tends to be our own worst critic. Her Achilles was just as good as her friend’s, because each of them was giving the best of themselves.

Days tend to have themes brought into my consciousness. A few hours after coming back to Home Base, I read a post by another friend, also a former student. He bemoaned the tendency of people in his home community to actively discourage those they encounter, at a community event, from doing activities, or ceremonies, in other than a prescribed manner. He pointed out that the primary definition of community is a group of people who support one another. In this vein, attacking, ridiculing or offering destructive criticism, of someone’s efforts is the opposite of community.

None of this means that we ought disregard someone’s own destructive acts. Lovingly preventing someone from carrying out an act of violence against self or others is imperative, if for no other reason than that the best that someone has to offer is off the table, when a negative path is chosen. That is true of perpetrator and victim alike.

It also doesn’t mean that no suggestions for improvement may be made. There is a path for that, offered by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, which validates a person’s opinion or method first, then offers “Have you considered the matter from this perspective?” A non-defensive mind can incorporate suggestions that are even at variance with one’s own set ways of thinking and doing.

In a universe where every word has one and seventy meanings, and there are ” a thousand ways” to do many tasks, isn’t it fair to step back and think of matters from several different perspectives?

Apollo Slew The Serpent


February 4, 2023- The legend has it that the Greek god Apollo, following orders from Zeus and his paramour, Leto (who was Apollo’s mother), pursued the serpent, Pytho, from Mount Parnassus to the temple at Delphi, and slew the beast, because of a rivalry. Apollo then built his own temple, over the original oracular sacred spot.

Those who presently honour the oracle as a place of sacred femininity interpret the legend as one powerful entity controlling the flow of information from one source, and replacing it with their own. The serpent, here, as in the Book of Genesis, is a conduit to knowledge, the use of which was to enable humans to solve problems. So it has gone. The problems arising from facing life on Earth, which an innocent person cannot necessarily fathom, require the knowledge that only a mature soul can put to use. Thus, we have the concept of Progressive Revelation of Divine Truth, given mankind as we are able to comprehend it and put it to use.

Those gathered this evening, via Zoom, for a Full Moon ceremony, come from a variety of faith traditions, from Wiccan to Baha’i. The common thread is a recognition of the spiritual forces that exist, and emanate from, the Enuarth itself. The planet is known to many as Gaia, its original Greek name, recognizing pure maternal energy. Such a philosophy is known in indigenous societiesm the world over-for example the Incan PachaMama. It essentially speaks to the nurturing force that is present in all life, and even in the “pre-life” chemicals and basic elements (Fire, Water, Mineral and Air). Nurturance, the feminine force, is present in even the most “macho” of men, even if it is deeply buried in their psyche.

Personally, I find this to be an affirmation of my own tendency to favour nurturance over force and understanding over assumption. Granted, it’s been a long haul, in some ways, but I find life is better when the feminine energy is allowed to be in balance with its masculine counterpart.