TWIN HOLY DAY SHARINGS SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AND MONDAY. ALL WILL BE JOINT DAYS!
WHILE MANY WILL BE CELEBRATING FROM SATURDAY EVENING (AFTER SUNSET) UNTIL MONDAY EVENING (BEFORE SUNSET), TODAY ON FHU, WE WILL SHARE ANY MUSIC, VERSES FROM THE BAB OR BAHA'U'LLAH, OR RELEVANT STORIES TO COMMEMORATE THEIR LIVES AND STATION!
OCTOBER 24 - KATHLLEEN CROSS - RECTITITUDE OF CONDUCT
OCTOBER 17- CLYDE HERRING (HOLY DAY CELEBRATION
OCTOBER 3, 10, 2020 - KATHLEEN CROSS - RECTITUDE OF CONDUCT
SEPTEMBER 26, 2020- CAROL MANSOUR - RECTITUDE OF CONDUCT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 - KATHLEEN CROSS - THE DOUBLE CRUSADE
AUGUST 15, 2020 WAS CAROL MANSOUR - DOUBLE CRUSADE
"The opportunities which the turmoil of the present age presents, with all the sorrows which it evokes, the fears which it excites, the disillusionment which it produces, the perplexities which it creates, the indignation which it arouses, the revolt which it provokes, the grievances it engenders, the spirit of restless search which it awakens, must, in like manner, be exploited for the purpose of spreading far and wide the knowledge of the redemptive power of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and for enlisting fresh recruits in the ever-swelling army of His followers. So precious an opportunity, so rare a conjunction of favorable circumstances, may never again recur. Now is the time, the appointed time, for the American believers, the vanguard of the hosts of the Most Great Name, to proclaim, through the agencies and channels of a specially designed Administrative Order, their capacity and readiness to rescue a fallen and sore-tried generation that has rebelled against its God and ignored His warnings, and to offer it that complete security which only the strongholds of their Faith can provide." - ADVENT OF THE DIVINE JUSTICE- PAGE 40
The teaching campaign, inaugurated throughout the states of the North American Republic and the Dominion of Canada, acquires, therefore, an importance, and is invested with an urgency, that cannot be overestimated. Launched on its course through the creative energies released by the Will of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and sweeping across the Western Hemisphere through the propelling force which it is generating, it must, I feel, be carried out in conformity with certain principles, designed to insure its efficient conduct, and to hasten the attainment of its objective.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 48)
“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, "Wait on time.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Regard the world as the human body,” wrote Bahá’u’lláh to Queen Victoria. We can surely regard the Bahá’í world, the army of God, in the same way. In the human body, every cell, every organ, every nerve has its part to play. When all do so the body is healthy, vigorous, radiant, ready for every call made upon it. No cell, however humble, lives apart from the body, whether in serving it or receiving from it. "
What should be apparent is that, if the Administrative Order is to serve as a pattern for future society, then the community within which it is developing must not only acquire capacity to address increasingly complex material and spiritual requirements but also become larger and larger in size. How could it be otherwise.
A small community, whose members are united by their shared beliefs, characterized by their high ideals, proficient in managing their affairs and tending to their needs, and perhaps engaged in several humanitarian projects—a community such as this, prospering but at a comfortable distance from the reality experienced by the masses of humanity, can never hope to serve as a pattern for restructuring the whole of society. That the worldwide Bahá’í community has managed to avert the dangers of complacency is a source of abiding joy to us. Indeed, the community has well in hand its expansion and consolidation."
"The soul," said 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "is a link between body and spirit. It receives bounties and virtues from the spirit and gives them to the body just as the outer senses carry that which they receive from the outer world to the inner senses, in order that (these impressions) may be deposited in the memory and, through his various powers, may be utilized by man."
"There is a human and a divine spirit, the latter arising through knowledge of and belief in God. The human spirit is superior to the body and struggles with it for control of the soul: when it succeeds the soul becomes heavenly; when the body obtains control the soul becomes degraded."
"Spirit is the highest and supreme development of the soul. Soul is the material or outer self, the mind. Mind is the action of the soul's powers. The body is the physical covering or medium in which mind acts and functions. At death everything but spirit is destroyed and becomes extinct. "Moral life consists in the government of oneself.
Immortality is the government of a human soul by the divine will."
(SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 8)
One cannot judge of the generality by the speech or action of individuals, for diversity of states is one of the peculiarities and concomitants of the human race.
(Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 85)
"Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God's thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?
Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices, preferring others' good to our own! Let us never say, "I am a believer but he is an infidel", "I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast." We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 148)
Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning, on the Day when no man shall have strength to stand for fear of God, the Day when the hearts of the heedless ones shall be made to tremble."
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 236)
31. O SON OF BEING!
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.
(Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
A rectitude of conduct, an abiding sense of undeviating justice, unobscured by the demoralizing influences which a corruption-ridden political life so strikingly manifests; a chaste, pure, and holy life, unsullied and unclouded by the indecencies, the vices, the false standards, which an inherently deficient moral code tolerates, perpetuates, and fosters; a fraternity freed from that cancerous growth of racial prejudice, which is eating into the vitals of an already debilitated society—
This rectitude of conduct, with its implications of justice, equity, truthfulness, honesty, fair-mindedness, reliability, and trustworthiness, must distinguish every phase of the life of the Bahá’í community.
“The companions of God,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself has declared, “are, in this day, the lump that must leaven the peoples of the world. They must show forth such trustworthiness, such truthfulness and perseverance, such deeds and character that all mankind may profit by their example.”
“One righteous act,” He, again, has written, “is endowed with a potency that can so elevate the dust as to cause it to pass beyond the heaven of heavens. It can tear every bond asunder, and hath the power to restore the force that hath spent itself and vanished.… Be pure, O people of God, be pure; be righteous, be righteous.…
...“Let your eye be chaste,” is yet another counsel, “your hand faithful, your tongue truthful, and your heart enlightened.”
.... ye must conduct yourselves in such a manner that ye may stand out distinguished and brilliant as the sun among other souls. Should any one of you enter a city, he should become a center of attraction by reason of his sincerity, his faithfulness and love, his honesty and fidelity, his truthfulness and loving-kindness towards all the peoples of the world, so that the people of that city may cry out and say: ‘This man is unquestionably a Bahá’í, for his manners, his behavior, his conduct, his morals, his nature, and disposition reflect the attributes of the Bahá’ís.’ Not until ye attain this station can ye be said to have been faithful to the Covenant and Testament of God.”
As to a chaste and holy life, it should be regarded as no less essential a factor that must contribute its proper share to the strengthening and vitalization of the Bahá’í community, upon which must in turn depend the success of any Bahá’í plan or enterprise.
... A chaste and holy life must be made the controlling principle in the behavior and conduct of all Bahá’ís,
...Such a chaste and holy life, with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness, involves no less than the exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations. It demands daily vigilance in the control of one’s carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures. It requires total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from opium, and from similar habit-forming drugs. It condemns the prostitution of art and of literature, the practices of nudism and of companionate marriage, infidelity in marital relationships, and all manner of promiscuity, of easy familiarity, and of sexual vices. It can tolerate no compromise with the theories, the standards, the habits, and the excesses of a decadent age. Nay rather it seeks to demonstrate, through the dynamic force of its example, the pernicious character of such theories, the falsity of such standards, the hollowness of such claims, the perversity of such habits, and the sacrilegious character of such excesses.
“By the righteousness of God!” writes Bahá’u’lláh, “The world, its vanities and its glory, and whatever delights it can offer, are all, in the sight of God, as worthless as, nay even more contemptible than, dust and ashes. Would that the hearts of men could comprehend it.
... The standard inculcated by Bahá’u’lláh seeks, under no circumstances, to deny anyone the legitimate right and privilege to derive the fullest advantage and benefit from the manifold joys, beauties, and pleasures with which the world has been so plentifully enriched by an All-Loving Creator. “Should a man,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself reassures us, “wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing whatever to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or in the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him.
As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá’í community at the present stage of its evolution. The ceaseless exertions which this issue of paramount importance calls for, the sacrifices it must impose, the care and vigilance it demands, the moral courage and fortitude it requires, the tact and sympathy it necessitates, invest this problem, which the American believers are still far from having satisfactorily resolved, with an urgency and importance that cannot be overestimated.
... White and Negro, high and low, young and old, whether newly converted to the Faith or not, all who stand identified with it must participate in, and lend their assistance, each according to his or her capacity, experience, and opportunities, to the common task of fulfilling the instructions, realizing the hopes, and following the example, of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá. Whether colored or noncolored, neither race has the right, or can conscientiously claim, to be regarded as absolved from such an obligation, as having realized such hopes, or having faithfully followed such an example. A long and thorny road, beset with pitfalls, still remains untraveled, both by the white and the Negro exponents of the redeeming Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
Let them call to mind, fearlessly and determinedly, the example and conduct of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá while in their midst. Let them remember His courage, His genuine love, His informal and indiscriminating fellowship, His contempt for and impatience of criticism, tempered by His tact and wisdom. Let them revive and perpetuate the memory of those unforgettable and historic episodes and occasions on which He so strikingly demonstrated His keen sense of justice, His spontaneous sympathy for the downtrodden, His ever-abiding sense of the oneness of the human race, His overflowing love for its members, and His displeasure with those who dared to flout His wishes, to deride His methods, to challenge His principles, or to nullify His acts.
...Once its members have fully recognized the claim of its Author, and, by identifying themselves with its Administrative Order, accepted unreservedly the principles and laws embodied in its teachings, every differentiation of class, creed, or color must automatically be obliterated, and never be allowed, under any pretext, and however great the pressure of events or of public opinion, to reassert itself.
In the light of this principle, and bearing in mind the extreme desirability of having the minority elements participate and share responsibility in the conduct of Bahá’í activity, it should be the duty of every Bahá’í community so to arrange its affairs that in cases where individuals belonging to the divers minority elements within it are already qualified and fulfill the necessary requirements, Bahá’í representative institutions, be they Assemblies, conventions, conferences, or committees, may have represented on them as many of these divers elements, racial or otherwise, as possible.
The adoption of such a course, and faithful adherence to it, would not only be a source of inspiration and encouragement to those elements that are numerically small and inadequately represented, but would demonstrate to the world at large the universality and representative character of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and the freedom of His followers from the taint of those prejudices which have already wrought such havoc in the domestic affairs, as well as the foreign relationships, of the nations.
...Freedom from racial prejudice, in any of its forms, should, at such a time as this when an increasingly large section of the human race is falling a victim to its devastating ferocity, be adopted as the watchword of the entire body of the American believers, in whichever state they reside, in whatever circles they move, whatever their age, traditions, tastes, and habits.
It should be consistently demonstrated in every phase of their activity and life, whether in the Bahá’í community or outside it, in public or in private, formally as well as informally, individually as well as in their official capacity
as organized groups, committees and Assemblies.
It should be deliberately cultivated through the various and everyday opportunities, no matter how insignificant, that present themselves, whether in their homes, their business offices, their schools and colleges, their social parties and recreation grounds, their Bahá’í meetings, conferences, conventions, summer schools and Assemblies.
It should, above all else, become the keynote of the policy of that august body which, in its capacity as the national representative, and the director and coordinator of the affairs of the community, must set the example, and facilitate the application of such a vital principle to the lives and activities of those whose interests it safeguards and represents.
The Facilitator for 9/19/20 is Kathleen Cross. We will study Glenford Mitchell's Double Crusade speech and learn about another pioneer who is an example of a "supreme effort", sacrifice, and a completely consecrated life.
On, 9/18/2020, we studied Shoghi Effendi's 1938 message on the 'Double Crusade.'
There are four documents in the series. We have just completed the April 12, 1927 letter and the Double Crusade portion of the Advent of Divine Justice. We are studying the August 18, 2018 from the Universal House of Justice on Thursdays.
The final study document from Glenford Mitchell is on the Double Crusade sharing the life of a heroine of the Faith, Leonora Armstrong, "Mother of South America." https://www.gy.bahai.org/history.html, https://www.bahaiblog.net/2016/10/leonora-armstrong-spiritual-mother-south-america/
Ruhiyyih Khanum’s words about Leonora’s life:
The study of such a life as Leonora’s, a life of complete consecration to Baha’u’llah and His teachings, a life of ceaseless work which lasted till a few hours before her passing at the age of eighty-five, a life in which it never even occurred to Leonora that she was sacrificing – such a life is a manual for every generation of Baha’is to study and presents an enduring challenge to all those who would follow in her footsteps.11
Let the white make a supreme effort in their resolve to contribute their share to the solution of this problem, to abandon once for all their usually inherent and at times subconscious sense of superiority, to correct their tendency towards revealing a patronizing attitude towards the members of the other race, to persuade them through their intimate, spontaneous and informal association with them of the genuineness of their friendship and the sincerity of their intentions, and to master their impatience of any lack of responsiveness on the part of a people who have received, for so long a period, such grievous and slow-healing wounds. Let the Negroes, through a corresponding effort on their part, show by every means in their power the warmth of their response, their readiness to forget the past, and their ability to wipe out every trace of suspicion that may still linger in their hearts and minds.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 39)
Facilitator for Saturday, September 12, 2020 (Barbara Talley)
'Abdul-Baha spoke the words below at Rankin Chapel; 84 years ago, these inspirational words provided Lex with the race amity architecture to reconstruct his life. He will share his subsequent 24 year quest to honor the Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Louis Gregory to create love between ourselves.
“I hope that you attain to such a high degree -- and this is impossible except through love. You must try to create love between yourselves; and this love does not come about unless you are grateful to the whites, and the whites are loving toward you, and endeavor to promote your advancement and enhance your honor. This will be the cause of love. Differences between black and white will be completely obliterated; indeed, ethnic and national differences will all disappear.
I am very happy to see you and thank God that this meeting is composed of people of both races and that both are gathered in perfect love and harmony. I hope this becomes the example of universal harmony and love until no title remains except that of humanity. Such a title demonstrates the perfection of the human world and is the cause of eternal glory and human happiness. I pray that you be with one another in utmost harmony and love and strive to enable each other to live in comfort."
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 46)
That which is of essential importance is your unity and agreement. You must be in the utmost state of unity and agreement. You must love one another; you must be self-sacrificing for one another. If you observe any short-comings on the part of any, as much as you can, be forgiving and do not be harsh. Even if you wish to admonish, let your admonition be in symbols; do not express it explicitly lest any heart should be saddened. Remember that in the world of existence there is nothing so bad as injuring a heart, for the heart of a man is the place of the descent of the Merciful and man must not at all disquiet or harm the place of the Merciful. Man must ever strive to make the hearts grateful, to rejoice the spirits, to render the thoughts radiant, to be the cause of the comfort and ease of others. This is the station of the Bahá'ís and this is the utmost desire of those who are divine.
(SOW - Star of the West, Star of the West - 4)
On April 12, 1927, Shoghi Effendi referenced a letter from the National Race Amity Committee dated February 23, 1927. He described that letter as moving, admirable, sound, sober, and heartfelt.
Below is the excerpt from the letter dated April 12, 1927 extolling the letter from the Race Amity Committee that was written by Shoghi Effendi to the
Bahai's of the United States and Canada
I have also received and read with the keenest interest and appreciation a copy of that splendid document formulated by the National Committee on inter-racial amity and addressed to all the Spiritual Assemblies throughout the United States and Canada.
TODAY, AUGUST 22, 2020, WE WILL STUDY THE 1927 LETTER FROM THE RACE AMITY COMMITTEE SEEN BELOW.
From the National Committee on Inter-racial Amity to the NSA
August 29, 2020: Facilitators- (Barbara Talley and Sue St. Clair)
Last Saturday we studied the February 23, 1927 Letter. Three of the members of the National Committee on Interracial Amity. Yesterday, we studied two of the POTE members, Louis Gregory and Corallie Cook. Today we will continue, with Coralie Cook and learn more about Mr. Alain Locke.
Debra Hawkins will facilitate this powerful discussion on the guidance from Shoghi Effendi.
Sadie Oglesby, a briefer version of these same remarks, appears in Gayle Morrison’s To Move The World, pp. 178-180. It says that:
“The year 1927 marked the beginning of a new stage of progress toward racial unity by the American Baha’i community. Race was discussed at length and with unprecedented frankness at the Nineteenth Annual Convention held that April in Montreal.” Two returning pilgrims, Edwina Powell and Mrs. Oglesby, spoke at the convention and shared what the Guardian had told them about race. The story continues:
"Don’t think of the words, or my inadequacy,” Mrs. Oglesby asked in closing, “but just turn your heart and see that great centre of love that is yearning, yearning that you and I shall become like one body….”
The assembled Baha’is recognized in her, rather than any inadequacy, a candid directness balanced by an eloquence that not only conveyed but inspired deep feeling. She had been able to say things that few Baha’is at that time (or any time, perhaps) would have chanced to say publicly—for example, “I looked around today, knowing that this group represents all the Bahai Centres over the United States and Canada, and I see just about one drop of Negro blood—and if I asked you who that Black Woman was, you could hardly place her….”
Yet, because she spoke to their real longing to free themselves from the impediments to unity, the delegates responded by voting unanimously that a transcript of her talk and Mrs. Powell’s be sent to each Spiritual Assembly.
Morrison's citation for the source material is as follows: Transcript of two talks at 1927 convention, attachment, Lunt to Louis Gregory, 4 August 1927, TS, pp. 3,2, Alfred E. Lunt Papers, National Baha’i Archives, Wilmette, Ill.
On Saturday, August, 1, 2020, Carol Mansour will facilitate a discussion on the ADJ reflections, we will discuss the three questions that our National Spiritual Assembly Message for Feast of Kalimát dated July 11, 2020, asked us to ponder related to Devotionals.
On Friday, July 31, 2020, we discussed the Most Vital and Challenging Issue from the Advent of Divine Justice. We will begin with those reflections now, in our preparation for our study next week on the Double Crusade.
The people designated "pupil of the eye" have two days (Friday and Saturday) that they study documents to help them understand their role and station in helping to bring about a reordered society built on divine principles that offers a noble identity to black people. Rarely in religious history has God singled out a group for such a station. Baha'u'llah teaches that the best of all things is justice and came for the purpose of restoring dignity to black people who have suffered from oppression for over four centuries.
"Bahá'u'lláh once compared the coloured people to the black pupil of the eye surrounded by the white. In this black pupil you see the reflection of that which is before it, and through it the light of the Spirit shines forth." (Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 68)
As the latest Messenger from God, Baha'u'llah's vision of the 'Oneness of Humanity" also brings with it the necessity of spiritual and social reparations to dismantle the systems that cause black people to continue to suffer from the scourge and prejudice of "anti-blackness," which is at the heart of the capitalist system and the foundation on which America was built. Our recently concluded study of Derik Smith's essay helped us to more fully understand why this metaphor "pupil of the eye" is both instructive and instrumental to raising a new race of men.
"Blessed are the poor, for theirs shall be the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words: Blessed are the nameless and traceless poor, for they are the leaders of mankind. Likewise it is said in the Qur'án: "And We desire to show favor to those who were brought low in the land, and to make them spiritual leaders among men, and to make of them Our heirs." Or, we wish to grant a favor to the impotent souls and suffer them to become the inheritors of the Messengers and Prophets."
[1 Cf. Matthew 5:3.]
[2 Qur'án 28:5.] (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 34)
Three Levels of Comprehension (Ruhi)
Please peruse the three levels of understanding during your private reflections. Use a dictionary to make sure you understand the words. Think about what are the implications for the world if this becomes reality. Finally, what can or will you do to make it a reality?
1. Understanding - Study the words and sentences with the focus to understand their meaning, rather than on one's own opinion of them.
2. Application - Think deeply about the obvious application of the statement in one's daily life.
3. Implication - Think about the implication of the statement in situations with no apparent or immediate connection with the statement.
10:30-12 noon EST---ZOOM INFORMATION FOR MR. KISER BARNES TALK
Meeting Information Zoom link: https://mahernet.zoom.us/j/97282760278?pwd=WWFFcUFsb3g3QXdiRTF3Q1JZeERGUT09
Password: Bahai-123 Meeting ID: 972 8276 0278
Dial by your location: +1 646 876 9923
FACILITATED DISCUSSION AFTERWARD HERE
The Double Crusade is the next document on our study list that we voted on unanimously in March during our virtual reflection gathering.
"Dearly beloved friends, a rectitude of conduct, which in all its manifestations offers a striking contrast to the deceitfulness and corruption that characterize the political life of the nation and of the partisan factions that compose it, a holiness and chastity that are diametrically opposed to the moral laxity and licentiousness which defile the character of a not inconsiderable proportion of its citizens, an interracial fellowship completely purged from the curse of racial prejudice which stigmatizes the vast majority of its people, these are the weapons which the American believers can and must wield in their Double Crusade. First, to regenerate the inward life of their own community, and next to assail the longstanding evils that have entrenched themselves in the life of their nation."
STUDY OF DERIK SMITH'S: CENTERING OF THE PUPIL OF THE EYE WITH THE AUTHOR
EXCERPT: "As most observers of race matters in the Bahá’í Faith know, Bahá’u’lláh declared that black people were appropriately comparable to the “black pupil of the eye” through which the “light of the spirit shineth forth” (Shoghi Effendi, Advent 37).3 This selection of metaphor, often referred to by Central Figures and Institutions of the Bahá’í Faith, effectively positions blackness at the epicenter of a “bold and universal” world-transformative project that involves nothing less than the “coming." Derik Smith
RULES FOR SHARING
NOTE: Comments, ah-ha's, and insights are to be shared on Mondays.