Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thoughts on a Candy

In my short story about Abdu'l-Baha's visit to the United States, I imagine a meeting between the Persian visitor and two young boys. Those boys share with the strange gentleman a new candy, Lifesavers. Today I learned about another hard candy that was in stores long befor the arrival of Lifesavers. That was the roll of Necco wafers.

Today the Necco company announced that it is going to stop using artificial colors and flavors in its wafers. It is going to use only red beet juice, purple cabbage, cocoa powder, paprika and tumeric. It will, for the time being, need to discontinue the making of lime wafers. However, the Necco company will continue to make chocolate, lemon, orange, clove, wintergreen, cinnamon and licorice wafers.

I wonder if Abdu'l-Baha ever tried a Necco wafer. I find it hard to guess what flavor he might have tried. I would guess that it was either a lemon, orange or cinnamon wafer. Those are flavors that I have frequently encountered whenever I was enjoying some Perisan food.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thoughts on a Vote in Washington, D.C.

On October 23, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 407 to 2 in favor of House Resoution 175. That Resolution condemned the persecution of Baha'is in Iran. On ten prior occasions, the House has voted in favor of a similar resolution. The House appears firmly behind support for the Baha'is of Iran. Meanwhile, the world awaits a decision from Iran on how it will respond to the proposals regarding its pursuit of nuclear energy.

Passage of this resolution does not free the seven plus Baha'is who remain in Iranian prisons. While Baha'is keep those people in their prayers, they plan to go ahead with planned celebrations, marking the birthday on November 12th of Baha'u'llah, the fatheir of Abdu'l-Baha.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thoughts on a Song

Here are the words (translated from Farsi) to a song written by an Iranian singer and song writer:

We are searching for the dawn\With the help of a breezeand with hearts filled with BAHA\We are searching for the dawn\Wherever there is a ray of light; we must search\Perhaps that source of light is a passage out of this endless night\We are searching for the dawn\Perhaps the lovers of Messenger would sing about the New Message.

Those seemingly innocent words have now caused the writer of that song, Behnam Rohani Fard, to be taken and imprisoned by the Iranian government. Those words reflect the degree to which Behnam was inspired by the thinking and writing of Abdu'l-Baha. That is why I have mentioned Behnam's imprisonment here in my blog.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thoughts on Family Relationships

While Abdu’l-Baha often chose to speak about his dreams of world unity, he never overlooked the importance of unity within the family structure. The types of family relationships that develop within a loving and cooperative family unit help insure the eventual development, on a global scale, of genuine unity. Therefore Abdu’l-Baha encouraged the demonstration of love and understanding, in any interaction with other family members.

Abdu’l-Baha had been raised by parents who followed traditional Persian customs. The Persian culture highlights the value inherent in any display of loving and caring attitudes towards close and even distant relatives. Abdu’l-Baha never failed to respect any family member, including those relatives who questioned the authoritative wisdom behind each of Abdu’l-Baha’s many statements.

The above paragraphs about family relationships have made the contents on this blog part of a mass blogging. I am participating in that mass blogging. A woman on Writing (WOW) has gathered a group of “blogging buddies,” and has asked those buddies to write about family relationships. WOW is celebrating release of the novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, the first novel authored by Therese Walsh. That fictional book, scheduled to come out on October 13, 2009, relates the mysterious journey that helps a woman to learn about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers.

Today, Therese and each of her blogging buddies has put some reflections on family relationships within each of their numerous blog entries. If you want to read those reflections, then you should go to www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html. At that same website, you can also read about what Therese and each of her buddies felt compelled to say about family relationships. If you want to learn more about Theresa Walsh, then go to this website: www.theresawalsh.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thoughts on a Question

There is a question that is troubling me. I have placed that question in a blog post at this website: www.worldnewsvine.com/blog. I encourage readers of this blog to set aside a brief period of time for looking at the third article on that web page.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thoughts on Unity

Today, as the world reacts to the announcement about the winner of the Noble Peace Prize, I would like to share some of Abdu'l-Baha's thoughts regaring unity:

"...the Cause of the Ancient Beauty is the very essence of love, the very channel of oneness, existing only that all may become the waves of one sea, and bright stars of the same endless sky, and pearls within the shell of singleness, and gleaming jewels quarried from the mines of unity; that they may become servants one to another, adore one another, bless one another, praise one another; that each one may loose his tongue and extol the rest without exception, each one voice his gratitude to all the rest; that all should lift up their eyes to the horizon of glory, and remember that they are linked to the Holy Threshold; that they should see nothing but good in one another, hear nothing but praise of one another, and speak no word of one another save only to praise." (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 229)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thoughts on Scientific Advances

This week, a number of scientists have been singled out for receipt of a Nobel Prize in 2009. On October 8, 1912, Abdu'l-Baha was speaking at the Leland Sanford Junior University in Palo Alto, CA. He presented a number of thoughts that reltated the importance of scientific advancements. Here is what he said:

"The greatest attainment in the world of humanity has ever been scientific in nature. It is the discovery of the realities of things. Inasmuch as I find myself in the home of science—for this is one of the great universities of the country and well known abroad—I feel a keen sense of joy.
The highest praise is due to men who devote their energies to science, and the noblest center is a center wherein the sciences and arts are taught and studied. Science ever tends to the illumination of the world of humanity. It is the cause of eternal honor to man, and its sovereignty is far greater than the sovereignty of kings. The dominion of kings has an ending; the king himself may be dethroned; but the sovereignty of science is everlasting and without end. Consider the philosophers of former times. Their rule and dominion is still manifest in the world. The Greek and Roman kingdoms with all their grandeur passed away; the ancient sovereignties of the Orient are but memories, whereas the power and influence of Plato and Aristotle still continue. Even now in schools and universities of the world their names are revered and commemorated, but where do we hear the names of bygone kings extolled? They are forgotten and rest in the valley of oblivion. It is evident that the sovereignty of science is greater than the dominion of rulers. Kings have invaded countries and achieved conquest through the shedding of blood, but the scientist through his beneficent achievements invades the regions of ignorance, conquering the realm of minds and hearts. Therefore, his conquests are everlasting. May you attain extraordinary progress in this center of education. May you become radiant lights flooding the dark regions and recesses of ignorance with illumination. "

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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thoughts on the Human Spirit

Abdu'l-Baha has compared the human spirit to sunlight. Since poets of the past have written about the sun of October, on this October 1, 2009, I want to share with the readers of this blog the following quote:

"The human spirit may be likened to the bounty of the sun shining on a mirror … This spirit has the power of discovery; it encompasses all things. All these wonderful signs, these scientific discoveries, great enterprises and important historical events which you know are due to it.But the spirit of man has two aspects: one divine, one satanic -- that is to say, it is capable of the utmost perfection, or it is capable of the utmost imperfection. If it acquires virtues, it is the most noble of the existing beings; and if it acquires vices, it becomes the most degraded existence." ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 143)

Thoughts on the Human