Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thoughts on Expressing Your Opinion

Recently there has been a good deal in the news about acts of civil disobiedience, acts performed by those who simply wanted to make known their opinion on a certain issue.

Abdu'l-Baha has offered guiding words to those who want to broadcast their feelings and/or beliefs. Here is a passage writte by Abdu'l-Baha:

"Wherefore, O beloved of the Lord, strive ye with heart and soul to receive a share of His holy attributes and take your portion of the bounties of His sanctity -- that ye may become the tokens of unity, the standards of singleness, and seek out the meaning of oneness; that ye may, in this garden of God, lift up your voices and sing the blissful anthems of the spirit. Become ye as the birds who offer Him their thanks, and in the blossoming bowers of life chant ye such melodies as will dazzle the minds of those who know. Raise ye a banner on the highest peaks of the world, a flag of God's favour to ripple and wave in the winds of His grace; plant ye a tree in the field of life, amid the roses of this visible world, that will yield a fruitage fresh and sweet. " Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 11

Monday, July 27, 2009

a Published Expression of My Thoughts

Today, two reporters from the Los Angeles Times have put many of my thoughts together in one article. Here is a link to that article:,0,5626861.story

I was at the event mentioned in this article, the event that was held close to Culver City. I also attended a prayer meeting on the morning of July 11, 2009. I have been writing my own articles about imprisoned Baha'is since 1988. My articles have appeared in several different local papers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thoughts on Gender Equality

Today the world has set aside time for remebering those who are imprisoned in Iran. Those brave souls recognize the importance of gender equality. They would like to see equal treatment for women in Iran.

When Abdu'l-Baha was here in the United States he spoke about the equality of men and women. Today, seven Baha'is have been in an Iranian prison for more than one year, because they follow the teachings of Baha'u'llah, the father of Abdu'l-Baha. Here is one statement that Abdu'l-Baha made while in the United States:

"In the estimation of God there is no gender. The one whose deeds aremore worthy, whose sayings are better, whose accomplishments are moreuseful is nearest and dearest in the estimation of God, be that onemale or female. When we look upon creation, we find the male andfemale principle apparent in all phenomena of existence. In thevegetable kingdom we find the male and female fig tree, the male andfemale palm, the mulberry tree and so on. All plant life ischaracterized by this difference in gender, but no distinction orpreference is evidenced. ... The world of humanity is possessed of twowings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are notequivalent in strength, the bird will not fly. ..."

The above passage comes from the book Promulgation of Universal Peace.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thoughts on an Admission of Mistakes

Today, President Obama admitted to feeling uncomfortable with a statement that he had made earlier. At that time, he had been expressing his views on an incident that took place in Cambridge, MA. It so happens that Abdu'l-Baha spoke in Boston, MA on July 25, 1912. Here is part of what he said in a talk at the Victoria Hotel:

"Man possesses two kinds of susceptibilities: the natural emotions, which are like dust upon the mirror, and spiritual susceptibilities, which are merciful and heavenly characteristics.
There is a power which purifies the mirror from dust and transforms its reflection into intense brilliancy and radiance so that spiritual susceptibilities may chasten the hearts and heavenly bestowals sanctify them. What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror. The natural emotions are blameworthy and are like rust which deprives the heart of the bounties of God. But sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love for the believers of God will purify the mirror and make it radiant with reflected rays from the Sun of Truth.
It is my hope that you may consider this matter, that you may search out your own imperfections and not think of the imperfections of anybody else. Strive with all your power to be free from imperfections. Heedless souls are always seeking faults in others. What can the hypocrite know of others’ faults when he is blind to his own? This is the meaning of the words in the Seven Valleys. It is a guide for human conduct. As long as a man does not find his own faults, he can never become perfect. Nothing is more fruitful for man than the knowledge of his own shortcomings. The Blessed Perfection says, 'I wonder at the man who does not find his own imperfections.' "

The above passage was taken from the book Promulgation of Universal Peace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thoughts on the Responsibility of a Government

On July 22, 1912, Abdu'l-Baha was in a train, riding to Boston. The following day, he would present a talk at Victoria Hotel. In light of the current unrest in Iran, it is interesting to see what Abdu'l-Baha said in that talk. Here is one passage from that talk:

"The essence of the Bahá’í spirit is that, in order to establish a better social order and economic condition, there must be allegiance to the laws and principles of government. Under the laws which are to govern the world, the socialists may justly demand human rights but without resort to force and violence. The governments will enact these laws, establishing just legislation and economics in order that all humanity may enjoy a full measure of welfare and privilege; but this will always be according to legal protection and procedure. Without legislative administration, rights and demands fail, and the welfare of the commonwealth cannot be realized. Today the method of demand is the strike and resort to force, which is manifestly wrong and destructive of human foundations. Rightful privilege and demand must be set forth in laws and regulations.
While thousands are considering these questions, we have more essential purposes. The fundamentals of the whole economic condition are divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit. This is fully explained in the Bahá’í teaching, and without knowledge of its principles no improvement in the economic state can be realized. The Bahá’ís will bring about this improvement and betterment but not through sedition and appeal to physical force—not through warfare, but welfare. Hearts must be so cemented together, love must become so dominant that the rich shall most willingly extend assistance to the poor and take steps to establish these economic adjustments permanently. If it is accomplished in this way, it will be most praiseworthy because then it will be for the sake of God and in the pathway of His service. For example, it will be as if the rich inhabitants of a city should say, “It is neither just nor lawful that we should possess great wealth while there is abject poverty in this community,” and then willingly give their wealth to the poor, retaining only as much as will enable them to live comfortably."

The above passsage can be found in the book The Promulgation of Universal Peace.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thoughts on Racial Equality

On Thursday, July, 15, 2009, President Obama spoke before the NAACP. He recognized the passing of 100 years since the founding of that organization. I mentioned earlier on this blog that Abdu'l-Baha spoke at the fourth NAACP convention, while he was here in the United States.

Abdu'l-Baha made clear to those in his 1912 audience that he did not approve of segregation. He saw all men and women as beings created by God. He brought a message of unity in diversity.

Today that message is about the resonate worldwide. That message is on a coin that is being considered for use on an international basis. The world leaders are talking about the possibilty of establishing a world currency.

Sue Chehrenegar

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Toughts on Justice

Today, Saturday, July 11, 2009, seven Baha'is will go on trial in Iran. What was their crime? They had helped to organize Baha'i weddings and Baha'i funerals. The Islamic government of Iran does not recognize the legitimacy of such services. Because Abdu'l-Baha took part in both Baha'i weddings and Baha'i funerals, I want to alert the readers of my blog to this trial.

Those who want to learn more about this trial can find a wealth of information at the following link:>.

After reading the information posted on the above website, then the readers of this blog can deceide for themselves whether or not the scheduled trial appears to represent a valid avenue for the delivery of justice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two Thoughts that Relate to Artists

Yesterday crowds around the world watched the memorial service for Michael Jackson. Today I am going to post two quotes from Abdu'l-Baha, quotes that relate to the important role of the artist in our present day society:

Words of Wisdom:"In accordance with the divine teachings, the acquisition of sciences and the perfection of arts is considered as acts of worship. If a man engages iwht all his power in the acquisition of a science or in the perfection if an art, it is as if he has been worshipping God in the churches andtemples."Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith
"Among some of the nations of the Orient, music and harmony was not approved of, but the Manifested Light, Bahá'u'lláh, in this glorious period has revealed in Holy Tablets that singing and music are the spiritual food of the hearts and souls. In this dispensation, music is one of the arts that is highly approved and is considered to be the cause of the exaltation of sad and desponding hearts."(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thoughts for the Start of the Work Week

As American workers return to their place of business, following a long holiday weekend, they can reflect on some of the words of Abdu'l-Baha. Here is a passage taken from a talk that Abdu'l-Baha gave on June 6, 1912:

"Praise be to God! You have heard the call of the Kingdom. Your eyes are opened; you have turned to God. Your purpose is the good pleasure of God, the understanding of the mysteries of the heart and investigation of the realities. Day and night you must strive that you may attain to the significances of the heavenly Kingdom, perceive the signs of Divinity, acquire certainty of knowledge and realize that this world has a Creator, a Vivifier, a Provider, an Architect—knowing this through proofs and evidences and not through susceptibilities, nay, rather, through decisive arguments and real vision—that is to say, visualizing it as clearly as the outer eye beholds the sun. In this way may you behold the presence of God and attain to the knowledge of the holy, divine Manifestations.
You must come into the knowledge of the divine Manifestations and Their teachings through proofs and evidences. You must unseal the mysteries of the supreme Kingdom and become capable of discovering the inner realities of things. Then shall you be the manifestations of the mercy of God and true believers, firm and steadfast in the Cause of God.
Praise be to God! The door of divine knowledge has been opened by Bahá’u’lláh, for He has laid the foundation whereby man may become acquainted with the verities of heaven and earth and has bestowed the utmost confirmation in this day. He is our Teacher and Adviser; He is our Seer and the One clement toward us. He has prepared His gifts and vouchsafed His bounties, revealed every admonition and behest, prepared for us the means of eternal glory, breathed upon us the life-quickening breaths of the Holy Spirit, opened before our faces the doors of the paradise of Abhá and caused the lights of the Sun of Truth to shine upon us. The clouds of mercy have poured down their precious rain. The sea of favor is swelling and surging toward us.
The spiritual springtime has come. Infinite bounties and graces have appeared. What bestowal is greater than this? We must appreciate the divine generosity and act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh so that all good may be stored up for us and in both worlds we shall become precious and acceptable to God, attain to everlasting blessings, taste the delicacy of the love of God, find the sweetness of the knowledge of God, perceive the heavenly bestowal and witness the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is my advice, and this is my admonition."

The above passage can be found in the book The Promulgation of Universal Peace.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thoughts on Citizens and their Government

As citizens of the United States move closer to enjoyment of their Independence Day celebrations, it seems fitting to read what Abdu'l-Baha had to say about the role of both citizens and their government. Read what he said on July 1, 1912, when speaking at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street in New York City:

"Difference of capacity in human individuals is fundamental. It is impossible for all to be alike, all to be equal, all to be wise. Bahá’u’lláh has revealed principles and laws which will accomplish the adjustment of varying human capacities. He has said that whatsoever is possible of accomplishment in human government will be effected through these principles. When the laws He has instituted are carried out, there will be no millionaires possible in the community and likewise no extremely poor. This will be effected and regulated by adjusting the different degrees of human capacity. The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil. All must be producers. Each person in the community whose need is equal to his individual producing capacity shall be exempt from taxation. But if his income is greater than his needs, he must pay a tax until an adjustment is effected. That is to say, a man’s capacity for production and his needs will be equalized and reconciled through taxation. If his production exceeds, he will pay a tax; if his necessities exceed his production, he shall receive an amount sufficient to equalize or adjust. Therefore, taxation will be proportionate to capacity and production, and there will be no poor in the community. "

The above statement can be found in the book "The Promulgation of Universal Peace. "