Nineteen

6

March 2, 2019- 

I began my penultimate physical Fast today.  Once I reach the age of seventy, in November of next year,  abstinence from food and drink no longer is binding, and the Fast will bring additional spiritual duties.

For this year, though, I am following the course prescribed by Baha’u’llah:  When not traveling or engaged in arduous physical labour, I abstain from food and drink, from sunrise to sunset, from today through March 20.  Travel to and from Korea, in a few short days, will truncate the physical aspect of the Fast, with the spiritual duties remaining in place.

I have nineteen thoughts I wish to share:

  1. As stated yesterday, all life is sacred.
  2.  Those who, for whatever reason, don’t view their lives, or those of others, as sacred are to be embraced in their suffering-and not condemned, though they must be held to account for acts of violence.
  3. If someone takes me to task, even harshly, and I know that one is right, I need to be the change.
  4. No one has the individual right to strike another person, unless one is responsible for that other person’s well being, as a parent or guardian-and even then, the reason for the spanking is understood by the other and it is only used as a last resort.
  5. Even insects and arachnids should be captured and released outside, into a safe place, whenever possible.  They have their place in the scheme of things.
  6. There is no human trash. Some just need to be monitored more closely and held in firmer check.
  7. Education is a universal right.
  8. Food and beverages should be as free of contamination as is humanly possible.
  9. Fun is essential to the soul, though never had at another’s expense.
  10. Everyone’s legitimate work deserves respect.
  11. All prayers are heard by, and affect, the Universe.
  12. Time in nature is also essential to the soul.
  13. Love is the primary building block of the Universe.
  14. May I never walk away from a cry for help.
  15. A call for peace is the best sound that may escape one’s lips, first thing in the morning.
  16. The morning sun, the evening stars and moon are here to reassure us that there is always a force, greater than ourselves.
  17. When I am in a half-sleep, I communicate both with departed souls and with those who are in  my life, but who are not immediately present.
  18. Plants show an intelligence, in the way they propagate and in the way they seek what they need.
  19. God, the Divine, the Universe, the Infinite, the Eternal, reveals to us what we need and what we can comprehend, in the way of truth.  It has always been thus.

None of these are original thoughts, but they occur to me nonetheless and so I share.

 

Dimensions, Part 3

6

January 31, 2019-

As there are so many languages and ethnic groups, among the entity that is the human race, and as there are so many species of plants and animals, living on Planet Earth, alone, we may reasonably surmise that there is an infinity of living creatures, composed of any of the several elements, found in the Periodic Table, or perhaps a combination thereof.  There could be as many, or more, silicon-based living creatures as/than carbon-based beings, across the Universe.

This leads to the fifth through tenth theoretical dimensions of the physical Universe.  They each deal with comparisons between this world and at least one other possible world.  The Fifth Dimension would be a world slightly different from ours, which we might compare and contrast with this one.  The Sixth Dimension would be a plane of all possible worlds which have the same start conditions as one another.  The Seventh Dimension  would be a plane of all possible worlds with start conditions that are different from one another.  This is the basis for the theory that there are several Universes (if “universe” actually means “one song”, that theory simply means there are several cosmic songs, in one Cosmos.  The Eighth Dimension would be a plane of all possible worlds, each with different start conditions and each branching out infinitely.  If Earth were to branch out, infinitely, then it is reasonable to expect that we humans would interact with those of other worlds, who are branching out infinitely, as well. The Ninth Dimension would be a plane of all possible worlds,  with all possible start conditions AND all possible Laws of Physics.  Remember, the Laws of Physics are atmosphere-based and gravity-based.  What “flies” on Earth, does not “fly” on Saturn, or, necessarily, on the fourth planet from Sirius.  The Tenth Dimension would be the plane of infinite possibilities.  There, it could be that we could escape from politics, or death and taxes. https://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/12/16/heres-visual-guide-10-dimensions-reality/

That is the view of Bosonic String theorists.  Some of them even posit a Cosmos of at least 26 dimensions, far beyond my level of understanding.  You are free to examine that matter. https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/292919/why-are-there-specifically-10-11-or-26-dimensions-in-string-theory

However, let me take just a few minutes to ponder what the above means, in terms of  the dimensions of human wellness.  Man does seem to have an infinite capacity to rationalize.  Suppose this ability is actually rooted in a state of alternate realities, each of which could fit the needs of a given world that the Seventh or Eighth Dimensions.

Suppose, also, that the upper dimensions are peopled by those of any number, or combination, of structural elements.  How would we communicate with such beings?  This may prove a critical issue,  perhaps as soon as 200-300 years hence.

It could, finally, be that the Tenth Dimension represents the closest we can imagine to the Reality of God- a State of Being that is far, far beyond it, but which dimension can command the  human imagination at its zenith.

I like to think that the fifth-tenth dimensions are the source of all human progress, compelling us to seek, and find, knowledge that our forebears could imagine only dimly, at best.  Let us keep trying, and growing.

Unconditional

9

November 11, 2018, Prescott-

Happy Veterans Day to all who served, in “times of peace” and in open conflict.  I regret one thing about 11:11:11/18- I was resolving a conflict over material possessions (someone else’s) at the time, so I missed the reflection which that time merits.

Basically, I have been storing items for a benighted and angry individual.  I had temporarily forgotten where they were stored, and was thus subjected to yet another tirade about how stupid and worthless I was.  Fortunately, this was all electronic, a “hit and run”, so to speak. Even more fortunately, I found the items, they will be transported to a third party, tomorrow and I will be free to ban the above-mentioned person from ever contacting me again.

I have had it with detractors and naysayers-as opposed to sincere, earnest critics, who point out errors, out of love.  The latter will always have my attention.

It has taken a  long, long time for me to value myself and to know that those who lambaste me  are not worth my time.  That time has arrived and I know, both in heart and mind, that I deserve the best that life has to offer.  Actually, we all deserve the best. The fact that some have been raised to regard themselves as worthless, is precisely why there is so much conflict-whether over THINGS,  or over ideas, or over social norms.

If each of us recognized our worth, material possessions would not be the cause of strife, money would not be the source of grief, attention to detail would not be the cause of condemnation.  We would know that all would be alright, if not immediately, then over time.

If each of us really understood the Universe, the nature of Creation, the eternity of being, then there would be no conflict of egos.  There would have been no Lucifer’s rebellion; no smug disregard, by our distant ancestors, of spiritual instruction; no ongoing conflict, often perpetrated by those who cast themselves as “enlightened”, but whose egos only project utter darkness.

I can’t claim to understand it all, but I do understand these:  There is only a place for Light in this world, in this Universe.  There is only a future for those whose hearts are open, whose goals are based on unconditional love.  All else will fail, and will fall away, in confusion and disappointment. More’s the pity.

Adventures in Hobbling

38

October 18, 2018, Prescott-

It was bound to happen, sooner or later.  My left knee popped, as I was walking back to our classroom from the school’s tennis court.  I wasn’t playing tennis, just helping a student put racket to ball and hit a fence.  The pop happened when I walked down a concrete stair that I had used several times.  I didn’t fall, and made it first to a bench, then to the classroom and a chair.

From there, the school nurse iced the knee, had crutches brought to me and I made an appointment with Urgent Care.  X-rays showed no bone loss, but slight arthritis (which I think is being kept at bay by various essential oils).  DRINK MORE WATER!  I am wearing a knee brace and using the crutches, to pamper this vital friend of mine, for as long as needed.

The Universe chooses unusual ways to tell me when a change is needed.  When the brakes on the KIA Optima had been partially severed, it took the botched attempt to stop at a rural intersection, at which I had stopped countless times, and a roll into a relatively benign ditch, to get a different car.  That Nissan Altima, itself, had a shelf life of little over a year, coming to a final halt in Newtown, CT-at a service station close to Danbury, from where my Hyundai Elantra was procured.

I needed a new computer, but had no funds to buy it: Piece of celestial cake- thieves picked it out, from underneath two full backpacks, whilst I was walking in the vicinity of McGill University, in Montreal.

Now, that I have been cautioned, several times, to slow down and cut back, comes the treatment and healing of the left knee.  Righty will have to work harder for a few days, and I am applying to myself, what Penny knew and did for the three years she was on crutches or used a cane.  I will get physical therapy, next week and for as long as it takes to bring both knees back in synchronicity with each other.

I am breaking down every physical activity to its smallest steps, giving each very focused attention.  That was something that had been brought up, several times, during the veritable Boot Camp in which I found myself, for much of last week.  Getting out of bed, I will reach for the crutches, tomorrow and maybe for days afterward.  Showering will have to be done with the brace on. Dressing will be done sitting down. I will scoot myself around the apartment, ever so carefully, sitting in my office chair.  I will park behind other people’s cars, when attending Baha’i meetings, the next few days, instead of being over-solicitous and taking a spot further away.  My co-workers may very well not see me, tomorrow.  It’ll depend on how useful I think I might be.

There will be a tomorrow, though, and I will be back on my feet- but in a prudent way, following the doctor’s instructions to the letter. Penny showed the way to dealing with any injury and others have shown the way to full recovery from theirs.   So will go this hobbler.

 

One, Two, Three, Four- The Plans

21

January 22, 2018, Prescott-

Every so often, I come out with details of my plans for this or that.  One year (day, month) at a time, I have been advised.  That makes sense for anyone my age, on up.  So my plans for this year, 2018, ought to be a foundation for what comes next.

This year, I will work, diligently, both at my day job- which will see an uptick in the number of students we have, come August, and at my financial effort, which is, admittedly, still in its fledgling state ( I can hear the Boo Birds, now- “There he goes again!”), but is being pursued, carefully, with a lot of expert support.  This will bring me to San Diego, the fourth weekend in March, for a mentoring conference.  Prior to that, I will have had nearly 60 hours of training and mentoring calls.  I have detailed other travel plans, in a previous post, and those still stand for next month, and for May-June.  An uptick in income would also allow me to join other mentoring events.

That covers the number one.  “Two” takes in 2019.  Next year marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of al-Bab, the immediate predecessor of Baha’u’llah, and His Herald.  This event, marked in late October, will be the overarching event of the year, for me and for millions of others.  My summer travels will bring me back to the Pacific Northwest, and southeast Alaska.  My work and financial ventures will continue apace. Then, too, who knows what the Universe will add on to all that?

“Three” brings us to 2020.  As I turn 70, in November of that year, its March will see my final physical Fast, under Baha’i law.  The Fast will have spiritual import for me, the rest of my life, but abstaining from food and beverages will not apply, once I reach the age of seventy.   I hope to be at, or past, my financial goals by New Year’s Day of that year.  Travel wise, I am looking at a Trans-Canada (BC to Newfoundland) road trip, in June and July.

“Four” means 2021.  This year will mark the Centenary of the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and His Successor, as Head of the Baha’i Faith.  My longtime readers may remember that, in 2012, we commemorated the centennial of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to North America.  2021 will, thus,also be a special year for us Baha’is.

For me, personally, it will bring the end of my full-time employment as an educator.  I have ambitious, but still tentative, plans for international travel.  Besides those, I will be more active on the volunteer front, in whatever community (ies) I may find myself, once “retired”.

So there are the substances of numbers one through four, as they pertain to my humble life.  Many of these could very well come to pass, though the Universe does throw a curve at each of us, every so often!

Safe

6

December 8, 2017, Prescott-

My only request of the Universe is safety.

That is all my mildly autistic mind has ever wanted.

Love tends to be tenuous,

and, for the most part, conditional.

Friends- these days,

I just try my best to keep out

of everyone’s way.

I’ve been to several places,

on different continents,

and have had my safety,

pretty much maintained.

I thank the Universe

for that.

It makes aloneness

a comfortable thing.

I can be in a crowd,

as I was tonight,

and not feel,

like my guard

needs to be up.

Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six, Part XLIII: Ever in Wonder

8

July 3, 2017, Carson City-

Along the path to Grama’s, I walked.

That path crossed a road,

and for crossing alone,

I felt a sting on my backside.

There are limits to what a three-year-old

can do, alone.

Along the path to the shopping center, I walked.

That path crossed several roads,

and for being alone,

I was briefly accosted,

by a couple of ruffians,

and almost struck by a wayward car,

that had jumped the curb.

There are challenges,

for a nine-year-old,

when walking, alone.

I sat in the airplane,

gazing out at the clouds,

and their patterns.

I was seeing for the first time, at their level.

The path through the skies,

held promise

and peril.

Many are the possibilities,

for an eighteen-year-old,

striking out, on his own.

Turning around,

in that crowded,

light-filled, noisy room,

I returned the gaze of one,

who had seen something in me,

that others overlooked.

My path was no longer

for me to walk in single file.

Life brings affirmations,

to a thirty-year-old,

who need not be alone.

Holding the little being

to the light,

I spoke words of welcome.

My line now continued,

for at least one more generation.

The Universe sang songs

of certitude,

to a new father,

listening, alone.

Father and son walked

from the car,

towards the hospice door,

and witnessed the wispy spiral

carrying dust and leaves skyward.

I touched her still-warm body,

and kissed her face,

with her eyes still open,

in seeming astonishment.

The path is ever-shaky,

for a sixty-year-old,

once again, alone.

Time and again, since then,

I have followed things through,

to completion,

having been roundly chastised,

by a well-meaning watchman,

for all those things,

I did not finish,

in times gone by.

The paths have been many,

and the rewards even greater:

Filbert Steps, Portlandia,

Space Needle, Stanley Park,

Wrangell, Mendenhall,

Mount Verstovia, Beuk-ai Temple,

Tuileries, Jeanne d’Arc’s Tower,

Mont St. Michel, Carnac,

Daily Gourmand, Old Bruges,

World Cup rally at the Bourse,

McAuliffe Square,

Luxembourg’s National Day,

the Dom of Frankfurt,

the Temple at Langenhain,

Waikiki, Iolani Palace.

The paths have seen me through,

to their ends:

Prescott Circle,

Black Canyon,

Granite Mountain,

and the Memorial to

its 19 Hotshots,

Bright Angel,

Spirit Tower.

The trails continue,

and the wonder,

at the limitless,

open to a sixty-six-year-old,

who  feels far from alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gnosis and Gnus

7

September 28, 2016, Prescott-

I work with whimsical people,

including a child who thinks

playing tag in a church would be a trip.

Another, believes the Universe

is seeking his destruction.

I am trying to impart self-knowledge

as a goal, to my students,

so that, when they reach their teen years,

they will be less likely to self-medicate-

or otherwise engage in self-harm.

Animals in the wild

engage in self-preservation.

Why should we humans

be any less  vigilant?

Isn’t it odd,

that someone capable of gnosis,

should be less self-preserving,

than a praying mantis, electric eel

or gnu?

Flow

6

August 16, 2016, Prescott- 

It’s said that heat enervates, stifles many things.

Metal can be an exception; loving the liquidity brought to it, by heat.

Man is largely made of water , however.

Water, and Man, evaporate with too much heat.

Physical relationships love warmth.

It’s no accident that physical attraction is often characterized by the term “hot”, to  describe an attractee.

Then again, scorpions are attracted to a steaming cup of coffee, when it’s left on a patio table, in a desert condo.

Friendships need warmth, too.

That is a fortunate thing- for dogs lying at their masters’ feet; for coffee house owners and barkeeps keeping their patrons’ lively tables well-plied; for the muscles that are so soothed by a respectful, but heartfelt, hug- and for me.

The ocean flows, largely warm, in its midsection and cold at its extremities.

Snakes like warmth. Fish prefer cold.  Birds take what they can get.    Man gets whatever he can take.

The Universe flows on.

Everlastings

14

January 16, 2016, Prescott-

God is reflected in the everlastings.

My love for my soul mate is everlasting.

Lemuria and Atlantis are not.

The joy taken from hearing children laugh, puppies bark and kittens mewl is.

The ups and downs of the financial markets are not.

A California traffic jam sometimes seems like  it is.

The joy of time spent with good friends definitely is.

The Sun, as vital as it is, is not everlasting.

Beauty and radiance will always be found, somewhere, so they are.

Earth, as familiar as it is, is not everlasting.

The Universe, with neither beginning nor end, is.

The stuff in my cabinets and my refrigerator, definitely is not.

I, in some form, will be- at least I strive to meet with God’s pleasure.