The Lessons

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December 30, 2020-

As with any of Earth’s revolutions around the Sun, there were lessons I learned for the first time, this year and lessons that were re-iterated.

Among those learnings that were new:

There is no limit to the ties we can build, in communication, without ever leaving our respective homes. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and media which will surely follow them, have made group communication across the globe exactly what humanity has craved, for centuries, a tool so commonplace as to be nearly as treasured as face-to-face contact.

The tools for healing are, increasingly, becoming available to individuals for careful home use. This year, in addition to do Terra’s Certified Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, I have been introduced to Thrive and Lifewave, complementary to do Terra products and to each other-and most importantly, not at variance with the allopathic treatments needed by so many.

There is also no limit to an individual’s ability to discern truth for self. The availability of means to investigate both spiritual and temporal truth on one’s own has only become amplified, in this day of so many competing “systems of truth”. No one, whether progressive, conservative or anywhere in between, can simply vocalize anything that comes to mind, without it being dissected and verified. The days when people followed leaders blindly are coming to an end.

Among those lessons that were underscored this year:

No matter how dark the scenario appears, there is always a ray of light. All during the pandemic, heroes in scrubs have been tending to the sick and dying, heroes with microscopes have been diligently working to establish an efficacious cure and heroes who are both the first (police, fire, EMTs) and last (funeral and cemetery workers) have tended to the victims, without faltering.

We are one Human Race, whether each of us recognizes it or not. Aside from a handful of people who believe the tragic deaths of this past year were staged, (and even among some of those), the response to excessive deadly force and the overreactions of some police officers has been to begin to view even the most unsympathetic of people with an eye of compassion.

There are forces of nature which will be ignored at the peril of all humanity. Like it or not, humans are part of nature, and have little choice but to exercise due diligence in how we treat the Earth and its other elements. Increasing fire, water and wind activities will keep reminding us of this-with earth itself (quakes and landslides) joining in the fracas-possibly in ways not yet experienced-or perhaps not experienced within the present historical record. (Those who believe there were civilizations before the ones we recognize have not been uncategorically proven wrong.)

I am confident that Coronavirusdisease 2019 will be brought to heel, just as the Influenza of 1918, and its successor diseases, were. It will still continue to be an astonishing decade.

Point of the Arrow, Tip of the Spear

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April 13-

My most cherished action figures in the entertainment world have been archers.  Their pursuit of quarry entails perfect accuracy.  The arrow and its manually-propelled cousin, the spear, must land on point, in order to be effective.  So must it be with those seeking justice.

In a matter that has drawn the attention of some who are investigating sex trafficking in  this country and in other parts of the world, an unsettled man has chosen a delicate moment to renew charges of cannibalism in the U.S. food supply, charges which were raised, and swiftly debunked, in 2014.  This is, simply put, a time when many have raw nerves.  Many want to believe the most lurid of charges, perhaps as a salve to their more concrete insecurities.

Baha’u’llah teaches us to investigate truth independently.  This is hard for human beings, especially those who crave approval.  It is hard for others, in a different way.  People who see things through a different lens than most, also need to have at least SOME others take their views seriously.  So, we see those who view life as to be lived independently, without a group determining what goes and what doesn’t, finding high crimes and misdemeanours as being committed exclusively by liberals and progressives.  Those who believe that life needs to be lived collectively, see conservatives and reactionaries as the villains.

What actually seems to be the case is that there are heroes, and villains, on both sides of the aisle.  Rather than ideology tripping up an individual, it is one’s view of self that brings a person down.  There are elitists and miscreants, galore, all along the political spectrum.  No ideology is a guarantor of sainthood.

My own view, such as it has evolved over the years, is that justice needs to not so much be blind, as to be laser-focused.  There are conspiracy tales afloat that have turned out to be true, debunkers who are fraudulent and vice versa.  Much in the mainstream is verifiable; other parts of it are sheep fodder.  Some of what seems insipid balderdash, turns out, upon closer examination, to merit a closer look.

In the past two weeks, I have listened to claims that, six months ago, I’d have dismissed out of hand. The Epstein affair changed a lot of how I view such matters, though there is still a smell test that needs passing.  The most odious behviour in the world is the sexual abuse of children and teenagers.  Close behind is sexual abuse, in general, followed by the practice that engineers both:  Human trafficking.

All three merit the most intense and unrelenting investigation and prosecution.  All three have no one, amongst their perpetrators, who is above the law.  The point of the arrow and the tip of the spear should find their way to any deserving target. ( I mean this figuratively, of course. As tempting as it is to put pedophiles and sex traffickers out of their misery, we must maintain the rule of law.)

Self-Teaching

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January 23, 2017, Prescott-

Today was another day of us plowing through tough weather, and getting much of our teaching done, working around heightened levels of excitement, as the snow began to fall, once again, in mid-day, after a morning of rain.  Once back at home base, I returned to matters of the spirit.

Baha’u’llah tells us that it is the duty of the individual to investigate truth, and not to overly depend on other humans to impart enlightenment.  He writes that the great Spiritual Masters, Whom we call Manifestations of God, guide us to all truth, through Their Writings, but also through Their lives.  An examination of each of these lives shows, in essence, and in consideration of the times in which each Master lived,  a remarkable consistency. Each lived according to the Golden Rule (Mean), in all its implications.

Now, more than ever, it falls to us to develop a full awareness, and appreciation, of the Golden Rule, and to educate ourselves in all its aspects.  This is my understanding of independent investigation of Truth.

Fear Factors

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February 19, 2016, Prescott- This week has been a bit rough, although work resumed for two days and I did have a nice dinner with friends, last night.  The difficult part has come from the number of attacks, two of them pointedly personal, that have come my way this week.  Last night, I received a written death threat, which I take only mildly seriously.  The person in question has neither the physical or financial wherewithal to put an end to my life.  Today, someone on another medium said that, unless I supported building a wall on the Mexican border, I was not entitled to claim citizenship.

We have devolved into a “my way or no way” mentality.  It’s not just in the United States, that this is happening.  Europe is finding itself overwhelmed.  India and Indonesia are experiencing the resurgence of religious fundamentalism, to say nothing of what is going on in Africa and western Asia.  Mexico has been rigid, in not letting migrants come in from Central America, or from Cuba, for that matter.  Even a small nation like Nicaragua puts those seeking a better life, in detention camps.

Otherwise good people are turning on others, mostly out of fear- that their livelihoods will be lost, that their families’ safety will be at risk and, more existentially, that all they cherish and believe will be upended.

I have three thoughts on this whole phenomenon.

1.  Remember the French Revolution.  In a nutshell (no pun intended), the common people rid themselves of leaders who looked upon them as less than human.  After that, there was no game plan, except to continue the carnage, until the Revolutionaries had decimated their own ranks- and Napoleon stepped in, restored a monarchy and only slight improvements had been made in the public weal.

2.  “The Earth is but one country, and Mankind its citizens”- Baha’u’llah

We do best to see all other people and nations as our relatives, by extension.  There need to be rules, sane and intelligent boundaries, and no one should enter another’s home, without leave of the owner.  Each family, city or town, county, state/province, and nation is entitled to having its boundaries, and its laws, respected.  Nonetheless, there cannot be the sort of racism or ethnocentrism that only perpetuates misery.  There also cannot be the economic colonialism that demands people in one country suffer, so that people in other countries can indulge themselves with habit-forming drugs that foment death and destruction, both for the people around the producers and for the consumers.

3.  Everyone is entitled to seek the truth of spiritual, intellectual and metaphysical matters for themselves.

Groups have arisen, from ISIS to the American Tea Party, that rely on fear and loathing to keep their agendas moving forward.  Again, I refer you to the late, unlamented Jacobins.  The Ku Klux Klan, Khmer Rouge, National Socialists, the “Know Nothings”, and various tribal armies-of-slaughter, throughout history, have followed the same path- sometimes with deadly violence, other times with the violence of the mind.  In both cases that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my response was immediate- I will think, and speak, for myself.  I have served the United States of America, and will not give up my citizenship; nor will I ask that of my critic, who was born here, also.  I will follow my own schedule, protocol and regimen, with regard to my daily life, and not give in to threats, of any kind.

The challenge, before us all, is to put fear in its place.