Father and Son

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November 27. 2021, Grapevine- In a nutshell, I have been treated like royalty by my son, since he was in the Navy, and continuing to the present time. Truth be known, I would do the same, were he ever again in need. That has, to our minds, been the bedrock of a parent/child relationship for all time. I would do the same if I had a daughter.

Today marked the Centenary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the eldest son and Successor to Baha’u’llah, as Head of the Baha’i Faith. He took the leadership role upon His Father’s Ascension, on May 29, 1892, serving in that capacity for over 29 years, until November 28, 1921. The fluctuations in the actual day when His passing is honoured stem from the use of the Lunar Calendar for this day, as well some other commemorations.

What is most important for the generality of mankind is the tenor of the relationship between the two Great Teachers. Baha’u’llah, like Christ, Gautama Siddhartha, Muhammed and Others before Him, brought a set of Spiritual Teachings, geared towards the people of His time and for many centuries thereafter. ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s major tasks were to interpret His Father’s Teachings to the world and to serve as an Exemplar, with regard to how these Divine Principles may best be manifested in everyday life. He was the first to recognize His Father as a Divine Messenger, even while still a child.

So were Their interwoven lives the stuff of both celestial spiritual provenance and of how parents and children can most optimally work in concert. ‘Abdu’l-Baha was a devoted Son to His mother as well, and a steadfast Brother to His two siblings: Bahiyyih, entitled Khanum (“Lady”, in Persian) and Mihdi, His younger brother, who died accidentally, while still young. He was a chaste and loving Husband to Munirih Khanum.

Even with the constant upheavals in the family’s lives, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Perfect Son in every way imaginable, walked among people of all strata of society, seeing none as an inherent enemy and giving even His detractors their due. He served the people of British-ruled Palestine tirelessly, helping feed thousands of people during the privations during and after World War I. He visited rich and poor alike, during travels in Egypt, Europe and North America, from 1910-1913.

When Baha’u’llah transcended in 1892, and His eldest Son, in 1921, hundreds of people, from the political leaders of Palestine to farmers, fishermen and labourers in the streets, gathered to pay their respects. Their Family had come as prisoners of the Sultan, but focused Their energies solely on bettering the lives of those among whom They lived. That effort was not lost on the people, and remains to this day as a prime example for all who call themselves members of the human family.

Twins

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November 6, 2021- The presence of multiples in my life-doubles, triples, quadruples, and so on, tends invariably to enrich experiences. My twin sisters-in-law have been a prime example, and but for the care provided for Penny’s mother, in her last years, those years would have been a lot drearier. They still are close with one another, long after her passing in 2018, and I hope to visit them, and other family and friends, in March of next year.

The greatest influence in my life, over the past forty years, has been the collective Teachings of Baha’u’llah-and of His Herald, al-Bab. As long-time readers of this blog may remember, the birthdays of both Messengers of God have been celebrated over two consecutive days, in either October or November, according to lunar reckoning (Badi calendar), for nearly seven years. Prior to that, we Baha’is followed the observances according to each Messenger’s birthday by solar reckoning (Gregorian calendar), to wit: October 20, for al-Bab and November 12, for Baha’u’llah. Lovely gatherings, both virtual and in-person are being held this weekend, with today in honour of al-Bab and tomorrow, in honour of Baha’u’llah. That these celebrations dovetail with the Hindu Festival of Light, or Diwali, is an added bounty.

The greatest blessing upon the Universe and all of us who dwell in it, is light-whether it be in its natural physical form, in the form generated by electricity, in the illumination provided by truth or the healing energy of love. Light propels life along a strengthening and progressive path. Its twin, equally beneficial, in light’s wake, is heat-in its proper measure. The correct amount of heat sustains life, maintains health and, in terms of the heat of truth-generates understanding and enlightenment.

Thus, we have examples of two being better than one, as are bonded couples, pairs of siblings and dyadic teams. More essentially, where would we be without the Double Helix?

Walking in Place

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September 23, 2017,Prescott- 

Several readers have, over the years, expressed a preference for my travel posts.  While I greatly enjoy visiting places old and new, there has been an increase in responsibilities and commitments, hereabouts, since my return from the East Coast, at the end of July.  Not the least of these is my work with autistic teens, a veritable payback to all who have guided me, over the past several decades.  There are also two major public events here in town, in October:  Hope Fest (October 14), a celebration of faith, which I will be assisting for the third consecutive year and, a week later, the Festival of Light and Unity- commemorating the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, on October 22.  As the Baha’i calendar is a lunar construct, the Birth of His Herald, al-Bab (The Gate), is observed the day prior to that of Baha’u’llah.  This year marks 198 years, since al-Bab was born and we will observe that event, as well, on October 21.

My friendships being wide-ranging these days, several events tend to converge on given days. So, today, largely devoted to Prescott Stand Down, an event dedicated to serving homeless veterans in our community, took up much of the day.  I was later able to make further progress on clearing my backyard and 3-4 more hours of concerted effort ought to get the job completed, for this year.  Tomorrow, two events at the American Legion, two Baha’i activities and an hour or two helping a good friend move, will keep me honest and productive.  This coming week, there is a gathering, of one sort or another, every night.  Looking ahead to October 14, that day will see me at two other events, in addition to Hope Fest.  Life is never dull.

With regard to travel, Fall Break will be here, in two weeks.  I am in between going to Joshua Tree and Lake Cachuma, California, or down to Superior, Globe and over to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, for 4-5 days (in which case, the California trip gets done over an extended Presidents’ Day weekend). My spirit guides will advise me, on this matter, as with so many others.

Yes, I do get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, as well as a 30-minute power nap, most afternoons.  Stay tuned.

Coming Attractions/Distractions

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November 2, 2016, Prescott-

Today, I was to report to jury duty- until I wasn’t.

I went by HR and dutifully reported that fact,

and took the day as a religious Holy Day,

which it was.

Baha’u’llah’s birth was commemorated,

having occurred on this day, 199 years ago.

As it’s marked, according to the Lunar Calendar,

next year’s bicentenary will fall in mid-October.

What the nation needs, in this time of turmoil,

is a champion.

So, as rain falls in Cleveland, and the two best teams

in baseball are tied, at the end of the 9th inning,

the nation will wait for its champion.

There are no champions visible,

in the political realm,

but who’s keeping tabs on that?

Kirk Douglas, God willing,

will turn 100, soon.

I wish him the best.

Now, I look forward

to two hard-worked days,

and a refreshing drum circle,

to end this long week.