• 15 October 2021

    Istiqlál, 1 ‘Ilm (Knowledge), 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Burdock (Arctium) led to the discovery of velcro. Unfortunately, it’s an invasive species. My crop is in its rather benign first year of growth, but next year: “low growing rosette of basal leaves during the first year, but during the second year it becomes 3 to 6 feet tall”— oh, my!

    Done

    Dropped off another load of furniture, household goods and clothing to the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio / Downsize with a Heart / Furniture with a Heart Thrift Stores. YAY!

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Mushroom Collage

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: Rave Reviews!

    Today is the birthday of my good friend Billy Siegenfeld! Sending him best wishes for the day and year ahead for all the world to see. And if you don’t know about him and his work, check this out; and if you have young kids–like my granddaughter–there’s this!

    Quoted

    The beginning of a new millennium fills us with hope. On the one hand, it is a milestone, a birthday, so to speak, that reminds us that the world really is changing. Like a birthday, it invites us to reflect on our past, imagine a better future and rise to a new level of maturity. On the other hand, the “millennium” is a reminder of “The Millennium” promised in the Bible — a thousand years of peace and the coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The writings of the Bahá’í Faith invite us to bring these two visions of hope together. They put forth the argument that the Kingdom of God on Earth is not made of gold, pearls and gems, but is rather forged from the love, peace, and cooperation that is only possible when we demonstrate a level of collective maturity that was not possible in ages past. 1

    [The Four Kinds of Love] 2

    WHAT a power is love! It is the most wonderful, the greatest of all living powers.

    Love gives life to the lifeless. Love lights a flame in the heart that is cold. Love brings hope to the hopeless and gladdens the hearts of the sorrowful.

    In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love. When the heart of man is aglow with the flame of love, he is ready to sacrifice all—even his life. In the Gospel it is said God is love.

    There are four kinds of love. The first is the love that flows from God to man; it consists of the inexhaustible graces, the Divine effulgence and heavenly illumination. Through this love the world of being receives life. Through this love man is endowed with physical existence, until, through the breath of the Holy Spirit—this same love—he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of creation.

    The second is the love that flows from man to God. This is faith, attraction to the Divine, enkindlement, progress, entrance into the Kingdom of God, receiving the Bounties of God, illumination with the lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all philanthropy; this love causes the hearts of men to reflect the rays of the Sun of Reality. 3

    The third is the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God. This is the transfiguration of His Beauty, the reflection of Himself in the mirror of His Creation. This is the reality of love, the Ancient Love, the Eternal Love. Through one ray of this Love all other love exists.

    The fourth is the love of man for man. The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. St. Rain, Karen, and Justice St. Rain. Bahá’í Teachings for a New Millennium. 1st ed., Special Ideas, 1999, iii. [return]
    2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Paris Talks: Addresses given by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912. 11th British Ed. 1912. Reprint, London, England: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1972, 179-302. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/paris-talks/7#508098000 [return]
    3. St. Rain, Karen, and Justice St. Rain. Bahá’í Teachings for a New Millennium. 1st ed., Special Ideas, 1999, 2-3. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 188: October 15, 1912 | San Francisco

    Mrs. Hearst Visits a Prisoner in ‘Akká 1

    IN 1898 IT WASN’T easy to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He was still a political prisoner after thirty years, and Ottoman government spies reported on his activities. It was a dangerous prospect for him to be seen welcoming one of America’s wealthiest and most famous women into the prison city of ‘Akká in the bright light of day. Therefore, Phoebe Hearst stole into ‘Akká under cover of night.

    Not long after she had first heard of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and his father, Bahá’u’lláh, Mrs. Hearst had planned a trip to Egypt and Palestine, and had invited some younger members of her family and a few friends. The pilgrims arrived in small groups so as to avoid raising the suspicions of the authorities; Mrs. Hearst, her maid, and her British friend, Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper, reached Palestine on or around Tuesday, December 20, 1898. “Mrs. Hearst and I arrived in Cairo, Egypt, after a terrible storm at sea,” her friend later wrote, “and remained there for a few days until all had been explained to us regarding our actual journey into the prison city.”

    After a storm-tossed trip to Haifa in “a small, miserable boat,” the ladies checked into a hotel to wait for the sun to retire. Once darkness descended they mounted a carriage for the five-mile trip around the bay to ‘Akká along the hard beach sand. The carriage entered the prison city’s wooden gates, and turned left toward the house of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá, a residence originally built about 1817 by the governor of the city, but which was now a run-down complex of apartments whose stucco suffered from an advanced stage of decay. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had rented rooms for his family there in 1896.

    California 2

    The next morning [October 15], in general conversation, the Presidential election was mentioned. ”’The president,’” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá noted, “‘must be a man who is not hankering for the presidency. He should be a person free from all thoughts of name and fame; he must think himself unworthy of the rank; and should say that he thinks himself unfit for the place and unable to bear this burdensome duty. … If the public good is the object, the president must be a person sensitive to the public weal and not a selfish and self-seeking one.’” During the day ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Persian friends toured the gardens.

    The hearts of children are extremely pure and simple. A person’s heart must be like a child’s, pure and free from all contamination. 3

    Early in the morning Mrs Phoebe Hearst presented the Master with flowers of various hues and perfumes. She suggested that, if He wished, He could stroll through the surrounding gardens and nursery. He first toured the house and then went to the nursery which had many beautiful flowers. A few rare specimens attracted His particular attention. He said that the seeds of those flowers should be sent to the Holy Land for cultivation in the gardens adjoining the Shrines of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Continuing, He said: ‘The real flowers are those in the garden of the hearts. The flowers of the love of God which are grown with the warmth of the Sun of Truth perfume the peoples of the world and never wither.’

    At the table during lunch His discourse concerned the greatness of this time, the dignity of the world of humanity and the importance of acquiring eternal virtues and perfections. Turning to the grandchildren of Mrs Hearst He said:

    In reality, children are the ornaments at the table, especially these children, who are very sweet! The hearts of children are extremely pure and simple. A person’s heart must be like a child’s, pure and free from all contamination.

    His prayer at the dinner table was this:

    He is God! How can we render Thee thanks, O Lord? Thy bounties are endless and our gratitude cannot equal them. How can the finite utter praise of the Infinite? Unable are we to voice our thanks for Thy favors and in utter powerlessness we turn wholly to Thy Kingdom beseeching the increase of Thy bestowals and bounties. Thou are the Giver, the Bestower, the Almighty.

    He then gave an account of the history of the kings of the world and concluded with remarks about the death of Alexander.

    When in the city of Zor the lamp of his life was extinguished and the last morn had dawned upon him, the wise men assembled by his corpse. One of them said, ‘Gracious God! The whole world could not contain this ambitious man yesterday but today a small plot of earth is sufficient to hold him.’ Another remarked, ‘With all his greatness, glory and eloquence of speech, Alexander never advised us in such a manner as he is instructing us today with this silence.’ Another said, ‘A few hours ago this man considered himself the sovereign of the whole world but now it has become evident that he was a servant and a subject.’

    After dinner, He went into the salon. Mrs Hearst and her guests were so attracted by His words and actions that although she had not spoken openly to her relatives about the Faith and had been cautious about it, without hesitation she invited the Master to speak about the teachings of the Cause of God. He spoke of devotion to the Cause, the appearance of the lights of the Kingdom, universal peace and the oneness of humanity. After an exposition of the teachings, He spoke briefly on the variety and diversity in human capacities, adding: ‘Christ likened divine words to seeds, and the hearts and capacities of his listeners to soil of different kinds.’ Mrs Hearst related her experiences of her days in ‘Akká and told of her joy on hearing a prayer chanted in the Holy Land. At her request the Master, in a melodious voice, read a prayer in eloquent Arabic. Although the listeners did not understand Arabic, most of them said that the beauty of the Tablet and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s voice caused them to draw nearer to God. Some of those present this evening expressed their desire to accept the Faith. They said that although they had been aware of the Cause and had associated with the believers, by listening to the Master they now understood more.

    12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4

    When a movement fundamentally religious makes a weak nation strong, changes a nondescript tribal people into a mighty and powerful civilization, rescues them from captivity and elevates them to sovereignty, transforms their ignorance into knowledge and endows them with an impetus of advancement in all degrees of development (this is not theory, but historical fact), it becomes evident that religion is the cause of man’s attainment to honor and sublimity.

    But when we speak of religion, we mean the essential foundation or reality of religion, not the dogmas and blind imitations which have gradually encrusted it and which are the cause of the decline and effacement of a nation. These are inevitably destructive and a menace and hindrance to a nation’s life—even as it is recorded in the Torah and confirmed in history that when the Jews became fettered by empty forms and imitations, the wrath of God became manifest. When they forsook the foundations of the law of God, Nebuchadnezzar came and conquered the Holy Land. He killed and made captive the people of Israel, laid waste the country and populous cities and burned the villages. Seventy thousand Jews were carried away captive to Babylon. He destroyed Jerusalem, despoiled the great Temple, desecrated the Holy of Holies and burned the Torah, the heavenly book of Scriptures. Therefore, we learn that allegiance to the essential foundation of the divine religions is ever the cause of development and progress, whereas the abandonment and beclouding of that essential reality through blind imitations and adherence to dogmatic beliefs are the causes of a nation’s debasement and degradation. After their conquest by the Babylonians the Jews were successively subjugated by the Greeks and Romans. Under the Roman general Titus in A.D. 70 the Holy Land was stripped and pillaged, Jerusalem razed to its foundations and the Israelites scattered broadcast throughout the world. So complete was their dispersion that they have continued without a country and government of their own to the present day.


    1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda, and Jonathan Menon. “Mrs. Hearst Visits a Prisoner in ‘Akká.” 239 Days in America, 15 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/15/phoebe-hearst-visits-a-prisoner-in-akka/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 168. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section206 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 363-364. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#272161810 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 15, 2021

  • 14 October 2021

    Istijlál, 19 Mashíyyat (Will), 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Cloud Study

    Done

    Used 2 quart jars of the pinto beans I cooked yesterday along with 2 ½ lbs of 90% lean ground beef, a couple of onions and various spices to make chili today. A little cornbread to go with it and, well, you can’t much better than that!

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Mycelium-2

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: Happy today…

    Quoted

    The equality of women and men is one of the founding principles of the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’ís around the globe are working diligently to put this principle into action in all areas of human activity.

    One step in establishing equality between women and men is to begin to prioritize the things that women value more. Men, for example, have felt superior because they have had a broader political life, but women in most cultures have developed a much deeper prayer life. When we truly understand that political power lasts but a physical lifetime, while the power of prayer enriches us for all of eternity, then we may come to redefine power, wealth and superiority.

    The prayers in this book are magnets for true power and wealth. Like the Lord’s Prayer or the Psalms they are considered by Bahá’ís to be inspired by God. They use beautiful images, language and metaphors to touch our hearts. They direct the mirror of our souls towards the light of God’s love, compassion, wisdom, strength and beauty. When our souls reflect these virtues, then we realize our highest potential and are able to demonstrate our spiritual equality. 1

    Parents

    Thou seest, O Lord, our suppliant hands lifted up towards the heaven of Thy favor and bounty. Grant that they may be filled with the treasures of Thy munificence and bountiful favor. Forgive us, and our fathers, and our mothers, and fulfill whatsoever we have desired from the ocean of Thy grace and Divine generosity. Accept, O Beloved of our hearts, all our works in Thy path. Thou art, verily, the Most Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Incomparable, the One, the Forgiving, the Gracious. 2


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. St. Rain, Karen, editor. Wings of Prayer: Bahá’í Prayers for Women. 1st ed., Special Ideas, 1999, iii. [return]
    2. Baháʼuʼlláh. Gleanings from the Writings of Baháʼuʼlláh. Translated by Shoghi Effendi. Rev Ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1952, 301-302. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/gleanings-writings-bahaullah/7#283431077 [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 187: October 14, 1912 | San Francisco

    October 14, 1912: The Week Ahead 1

    THE PAST SEVEN DAYS stand out as some of the most eventful of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s entire trip to America. He argued for a novel, scientific basis for peace in front of two thousand at Stanford University in Palo Alto, tackled the subject of evolution at the Open Forum in San Francisco, and engaged Rabbi Martin A. Meyer’s Reform Jewish congregation at the Temple Emanu-El by delivering his longest address in America. Over this weekend he is spending three nights in the countryside, at the palatial estate of Phoebe Hearst in nearby Pleasanton.

    In the week ahead we will hear Americans’ earliest impressions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, during the 1898 pilgrimage to ‘Akká that Mrs. Hearst organized, and we will follow ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Los Angeles as he pays his respects to one of the first Americans ever to reach out to him across the ocean, the late Thornton Chase.

    California 2

    On Monday afternoon [October 14] He went with the Persian friends to the estate of Phoebe Hearst, at her invitation, and remained for two nights. Mahmúd observed, “Some of the relatives of the lady were also present. As there were people of different dispositions, the discourses of the Beloved were brief and full of wisdom according to the exigencies of the occasion. Many important ideas were couched in condensed sentences so that they made the maximum of effect with the minimum of words.”

    O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. 3

    In the morning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke about the election of the president of the republic. He said:

    The president must be a man who does not insistently seek the presidency. He should be a person free from all thoughts of name and rank; rather, he should say, ‘I am unworthy and incapable of this position and cannot bear this great burden.’ Such persons deserve the presidency. If the object is to promote the public good, then the president must be a well-wisher of all and not a self-seeking person. If the object, however, is to promote personal interests, then such a position will be injurious to humanity and not beneficial to the public.

    He then went to lunch. At the request of those present at the table the Master chanted the following prayer:

    He is God! Thou seest us, O my God, gathered around this table, praising Thy bounty, with our gaze set upon Thy Kingdom. O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. Thou art verily the Bestower, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    The Master then spoke extensively on the history of some famous people.

    In the afternoon He went for an automobile ride through valleys, hills and meadows as far as the breakwater. When He returned to the house, the Master rested in the garden on special chairs brought for Him and the others and gave a detailed history of the life and teachings of the Blessed Beauty.

    At the dinner table He spoke of His gratitude for the blessings of God and the importance of assisting the weak and poor. He was asked, ‘How is it that the desires of some people are achieved while others are not?’ The gist of the Master’s response was:

    What conforms with divine decree will be realized. In addition, good intentions and sound thoughts attract confirmations. The desires of human beings are endless. No matter what level a human being reaches, he can still attain higher ones, so he is always making effort and desiring more. He can never find peace but through effort and resignation, so that, notwithstanding all efforts in worldly affairs, the human heart remains free and happy. He neither becomes proud on attaining wealth and position nor becomes dejected on losing them. This station can be attained only through the power of faith.

    Such explanations and exhortations repeated at every meeting were warnings and reminders for these prominent people. Day by day their humility and sincerity increased owing to His presence.

    12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4

    There is another and more significant aspect to this religious impulse and impetus. The children of Israel were in bondage and captivity in the land of Egypt four hundred years. They were in an extreme state of degradation and slavery under the tyranny and oppression of the Egyptians. While they were in the condition of abject poverty, in the lowest degree of abasement, ignorance and servility, Moses suddenly appeared among them. Although He was but a shepherd, such majesty, grandeur and efficiency became manifest in Him through the power of religion that His influence continues to this day. His Prophethood was established throughout the land, and the law of His Word became the foundation of the laws of the nations. This unique Personage, single and alone, rescued the children of Israel from bondage through the power of religious training and discipline. He led them to the Holy Land and founded there a great civilization which has become permanent and renowned and under which these people attained the highest degree of honor and glory. He freed them from bondage and captivity. He imbued them with qualities of progressiveness and capability. They proved to be a civilizing people with instincts toward education and scholastic attainment. Their philosophy became renowned; their industries were celebrated throughout the nations. In all lines of advancement which characterize a progressive people they achieved distinction. In the splendor of the reign of Solomon their sciences and arts advanced to such a degree that even the Greek philosophers journeyed to Jerusalem to sit at the feet of the Hebrew sages and acquire the basis of Israelitish law. According to eastern history this is an established fact. Even Socrates visited the Jewish doctors in the Holy Land, consorting with them and discussing the principles and basis of their religious belief. After his return to Greece he formulated his philosophical teaching of divine unity and advanced his belief in the immortality of the spirit beyond the dissolution of the body. Without doubt, Socrates absorbed these verities from the wise men of the Jews with whom he came in contact. Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks likewise visited Palestine and acquired wisdom from the Jewish prophets, studying the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions which have made Greece famous.


    1. Sockett, Robert. “October 14, 1912: The Week Ahead.” 239 Days in America, 14 Oct. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/10/14/october-14-1912-the-week-ahead/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 168. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section205 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 362-363. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#004021410 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 14, 2021

  • 13 October 2021

    ‘Idál, 18 Mashíyyat (Will), 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Crassula ovata (Jade Plant)

    Done

    Found an unopened 2-lb bag of pinto beans in the pantry that were a couple of years past their “best if used by” date. Soaked them overnight and cooked them for 7 hours, but they didn’t get soft. This did not bode well as indicated by Dale Cudmore in his article, “4 Reasons Your Dried Beans Won’t Soften (and How to Fix)”. Playing off his suggestion as a last resort, I added baking soda and simmered them for another 3 hours. They turned out perfectly—yay!

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Common Fern Moss

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: Is this the real life…

    Quoted

    So important is the spiritual development of the individual that the Universal House of Justice set as one of the objectives of the Six Year Plan 1986-1992 ‘greater attention to universal participation and the spiritual enrichment of individual believers’. 1 Among the suggestions for goals to fulfill this objective was to ‘encourage, where feasible, the practice of dawn prayer’. 2

    However, in addition to the spiritualization of the individual, the community at large needs to develop a more spiritual nature, to incline itself towards God, to develop its own devotional life. The harshness, frivolity and danger of daily life for many people is well known and need not be rehearsed here. The Universal House of Justice has remarked on the ‘spiritual aridity’ of society, particularly in Europe.3 A main purpose of the Bahá’í Faith, of the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, is to revolutionize society, to take it from its present level to a higher one, one which is more equitable and is based on justice and love and in which virtues such as honesty and trustworthiness underpin government and drive social activity. Ultimately, humanity as a whole must recognize the Manifestation of God for this age, Bahá’u’lláh, and begin to function under His guidance. Yet humanity will only gradually come to this point and before it is fully achieved there are many stages though which it will pass. 4


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. Universal House of Justice. “25 February 1986 – To All National Spiritual Assemblies.” Bahá’í Reference Library, 25 Feb. 1986, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19860225_001/1#695130677. [return]
    2. Universal House of Justice. “25 February 1986 – To All National Spiritual Assemblies.” Bahá’í Reference Library, 25 Feb. 1986, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19860225_001/1#695130677. [return]
    3. Universal House of Justice. “1 September 1983 – The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Norway.” Bahá’í Reference Library, 1 Sept. 1983, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19830901_001/1#438729944. [return]
    4. Momen, Wendi. The Devotional Meeting. 1st ed., George Ronald, 2003, 6-7. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 186: October 13, 1912 | San Francisco

    Phoebe Apperson Hearst 1

    PHOEBE APPERSON HEARST HELD her dress above her shoes to step from the limousine parked in front of 1815 California Street, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been staying. It was October 13, 1912. She was a small woman and kept her hair pulled tight on top of her head except for several short curls that hung loose to frame her face. After her husband died in 1891, she took over what was then the largest private mining company in the United States. The University of California at Berkeley had risen on her dollars. Today she had arrived to escort ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to her nineteen-hundred-acre estate in nearby Pleasanton for a three-night stay in the countryside.

    It was a sunny day, and they drew the blinds in Mrs. Hearst’s limousine, then sped off down California Street toward the ferry terminal at the end of Market Street. After disembarking from the ferry across the bay in Oakland, the journey to Phoebe Hearst’s estate took them thirty-five miles through the redwoods of California.

    California 2

    On Sunday, October 13, He spoke at the reading room for the blind.

    Every universal matter is from God; and limitations are from man. 3

    In the morning one of the Japanese friends came together with a group of people to visit the Master. This Japanese friend said that he had studied most religions but found none as useful and effective in bringing tranquillity to the people as this Faith. The Master replied:

    I hope that you will become heavenly and not just be a Japanese, an Arab, an Englishman or a Persian, Turk or American; that you will become divine and bring your life into accord with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Observe: I am one of the servants of Bahá’u’lláh, helpless and weak but as I am under the shadow of His teachings you see what confirmations descend upon me.

    The fame, grandeur and beauty of the Master were such that many civic, educational and social leaders of the area visited Him, considering it an honor to be in His presence. His noble mission and talks about the Cause of God, together with the enthusiasm of the people, seemed to fulfill the verse from the Qur’án: ‘The day when the people shall stand before the Lord of creation.’ Mrs [Phoebe] Hearst, a wealthy and prominent person who had visited the Master a few years ago in the Holy Land but who had become distant because of her association with worldly people, suddenly requested permission to visit Him. Realizing the privilege of His presence, she invited Him and His companions to her home. Because her invitation was sincere, it was accepted. In the afternoon, the Master and His servants went with Mrs Hearst to her home. After traveling inland, through the streets of Oakland and Berkeley, the automobile passed through verdant hills, green valleys and lovely towns and villages until it reached Mrs Hearst’s large, regal mansion. It is situated on a beautiful hillside on the outskirts of Pleasanton, surrounded by luxuriant gardens, green lawns and pathways overflowing with flowers. Some of Mrs Hearst’s relatives were also present among her guests.

    In keeping with the circumstances of the occasion, for there were people of different backgrounds present, the Master’s talks were brief yet full of wisdom. Many important ideas were couched in short sentences, giving the maximum effect with a minimum of words. The guests asked questions of each other about the Cause.

    After dinner, the Master went into the outer hall and spoke briefly:

    Every universal matter is from God; and limitations are from man. Therefore, if people’s services and efforts are undertaken for the benefit of all, they are acceptable to God and leave lasting traces. Otherwise, every other effort is limited and transitory.

    After obtaining the Master’s permission to have music, the guests sang songs accompanied by the piano. The meeting ended with great joy and happiness.

    12 October 1912, Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4

    How shall we determine whether religion has been the cause of human advancement or retrogression?

    We will first consider the Founders of the religions—the Prophets—review the story of Their lives, compare the conditions preceding Their appearance with those subsequent to Their departure, following historical records and irrefutable facts instead of relying upon traditionary statements which are open to both acceptance and denial.

    Among the great Prophets was Abraham, Who, being an iconoclast and a Herald of the oneness of God, was banished from His native land. He founded a family upon which the blessing of God descended, and it was owing to this religious basis and ordination that the Abrahamic house progressed and advanced. Through the divine benediction noteworthy and luminous prophets issued from His lineage. There appeared Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon. The Holy Land was conquered by the power of the Covenant of God with Abraham, and the glory of the Solomonic wisdom and sovereignty dawned. All this was due to the religion of God which this blessed lineage established and upheld. It is evident that throughout the history of Abraham and His posterity this was the source of their honor, advancement and civilization. Even today the descendants of His household and lineage are found throughout the world.


    1. Jones, Caitlin Shayda. “Phoebe Apperson Hearst.” 239 Days in America, 13 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/13/phoebe-apperson-hearst/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 168. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section204 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 361-362. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#018297801 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 13, 2021

  • 12 October 2021

    Fidál, 17 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Dipsacus or Teasel (labeled an invasive species in the USA) and Canadian Goldenrod (labeled an invasive species in Europe, Japan and China)

    Done

    Assembled an IKEA Pello arm chair—SO COMFORTABLE!

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Dried grapevine tendril

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: Rave Reviews!

    Quoted

    Just as it is in Christianity, the major tenet in the Bahá’í Faith is following and loving the truth. Independent investigation of truth is what leads us to the truth. The goal is the truth; investigation is the means. What you are implying is that you need not investigate the truth; you already know it. The question is this: If you did not investigate, then how did you know? If we eliminate investigation, then every person on our planet is as right as every other person.

    Was it not for a failure to investigate the truth that the Pharisees denied Jesus? Note ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s explanation of this point: 1

    Had they [The Pharisees] investigated sincerely for themselves, they would surely have believed in Him, respected Him and bowed before Him in reverence. They would have considered His manifestation the greatest bestowal upon mankind. They would have accepted Him as the very Savior of man; but, alas, they were veiled, they held to imitations of ancestral beliefs and hearsay and did not investigate the truth of Christ. 2

    [The Pharisees] paid no heed to His [Jesus’] splendors and regarded not His proofs. Else would they have acknowledged His words, and borne witness to the verses He revealed, confessed the truth of His utterances, sought shelter under the protective shadow of His banner, learned of His signs and tokens, and rejoiced in His blissful tidings. 3


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. Motlagh, Hushidar Hugh. Come Now, Let Us Reason Together: Response to Objections Raised by a Pastor against the Baháʼi Faith. 1st ed., Global Perspective, 2003, 53-54. [return]
    2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 62. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/3#502326955 [return]
    3. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Selections from the Writings of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Translated by Marzieh Gail. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Center, 1978, 40-41. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/selections-writings-abdul-baha/3#696869045. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 185: October 12, 1912 | San Francisco

    Rabbi Martin Meyer Hosts ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Temple 1

    THE LATE MORNING SUNLIGHT filtered down through opalescent windows and settled on the soft features of Rabbi Martin A. Meyer. At 10:45 a.m. on the cool morning of Saturday, October 12, 1912, he stood upon his pulpit, hand-carved from weathered oak, and looked out over two thousand members of his congregation. They filled the majestic sanctuary of San Francisco’s Temple Emanu-El.

    The massive Gothic Revival synagogue, built in the 1860s, was one of the largest vaulted chambers ever constructed in the state of California. Two octagonal towers shot up at the temple’s front corners on Sutter Street, supporting bronze-plated Russian domes that impressed themselves on the city’s skyline. The vaults and the domes had come crashing down on the fateful morning of April 18, 1906, and the temple had burned to its skeleton in the fires. But just sixteen months later Temple Emanu-El rose again from the ashes: squat towers now stood where the domes had been, a ceiling of Oregon pine replaced the vaults, and chandeliers hung down in the shape of six-pointed stars.

    “It is a privilege, and a very high privilege indeed,” Rabbi Meyer said, “to welcome in our midst this morning Abdul Baha, a great teacher of our age and generation… . Abdul Baha is the representative of one of the religious systems of life, and it appeals to us Jews, because we Jews feel that we have fathered that ideal throughout the centuries of men.”

    California 2

    On Saturday, October 12, He presented His memorable address to an audience of 2,000 in the Temple Emmanu-El, emphasizing “the truth of His Holiness Christ, the reality of Islam, the oneness of humanity and universal peace.”

    The Fundamental Unity of Religious Thought 3

    The Master’s address at the Jewish Temple was unique and magnificent.313 His talk, which was delivered to some two thousand Jews, concerned the truth of Christ, the reality of Islam, the oneness of humanity and universal peace. This gathering was clear evidence of the power and majesty of the Center of the Covenant. Indeed, it can be counted as a miracle. The proofs supporting the truth of the reality of Christ and Muhammad, the Messengers of God, flowed from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s lips with such majesty and authority that all were dumbfounded. After His talk, many humbly came to see Him to express their gratitude, except for a very few diehards who left in dismay. The chairman of the meeting, considered to be an eminent and learned Jew, introduced the Master:

    It is our privilege to welcome in our midst ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a great teacher of our age and generation. The heart of the Orient seems to be essentially religious, and now and then, out of the heart of the Orient, the fundamental religious message for the world is stated and restated. This century is very great and this age is the age of the maturity of the world. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is the representative of one of the religious systems which appeals to us Jews, because we feel that we have fathered that idea throughout the centuries. This morning He will speak to us, the followers and the children of Israel, in His native tongue through an interpreter, on ‘The Fundamental Unity of Religious Thought’. I am certain that whatever He says will be of great significance to us. …

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave this address in the afternoon at the home of Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper:

    Today we spoke in the Jewish temple. You saw how it was proven that Christ was the Word of God and Muhammad the Messenger of God. From the beginning of Christianity and Islam up to the present day, no one has spoken thus, proving the validity of Christ and Muhammad in a Jewish temple and in a manner to which no one took exception. Rather, most were appreciative and content. This is none other than the assistance of Bahá’u’lláh.

    The effect and influence of the address were such that from then on there was evidence of unity and communication between the Christians and Jews. They even made plans to visit each other’s places of worship to give talks about the unity of peoples and religions. Whenever they met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá or attended Bahá’í gatherings, they expressed their gratitude from the depths of their hearts for this great Cause and its new teachings.

    Talk at Temple Emmanu-El, 450 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 4

    The greatest bestowal of God in the world of humanity is religion, for assuredly the divine teachings of religion are above all other sources of instruction and development to man. Religion confers upon man eternal life and guides his footsteps in the world of morality. It opens the doors of unending happiness and bestows everlasting honor upon the human kingdom. It has been the basis of all civilization and progress in the history of mankind.

    We will, therefore, investigate religion, seeking from an unprejudiced standpoint to discover whether it is the source of illumination, the cause of development and the animating impulse of all human advancement. We will investigate independently, free from the restrictions of dogmatic beliefs, blind imitations of ancestral forms and the influence of mere human opinion; for as we enter this question, we will find some who declare that religion is a cause of uplift and betterment in the world, while others assert just as positively that it is a detriment and a source of degradation to mankind. We must give these questions thorough and impartial consideration so that no doubt or uncertainty may linger in our minds regarding them.


    1. Menon, Jonathan. “Rabbi Martin Meyer Hosts ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Temple Emanu-El.” 239 Days in America, 12 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/12/rabbi-martin-a-meyer-hosts-abdul-baha-longest-address-in-america/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 168. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section203 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 361. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#592795487 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 12, 2021

  • 11 October 2021

    Kamál, 16 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Ohio Butterflies: My guess is a type of sulphur and a copper

    Ohio Wildflowers (or noxious weeds depending on perspective): Milkweed and Bindweed

    Done

    Went on walk with granddaughter …

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Largemouth bass one inch shy of minimum for recognition by Department of Natural Resources!

    Quoted

    Within the scope of Bahá’í beliefs, the station and claims of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel are recognized, and the beneficent contribution of Christianity to the development of humankind’s spiritual and material civilization is acknowledged. Summarizing the Bahá’í position toward Christianity, Shoghi Effendi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s grandson and appointed successor, wrote:

    As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized … 1

    Anyone familiar with the writings of Bahá’u’lláh will appreciate the fidelity with which these statements by Shoghi Effendi have captured the spirit of Bahá’í teachings. Nevertheless, because the corpus of Bahá’í scripture is large and covers a wide variety of topics, some observers fail to appraise this message adequately in a brief encounter with the Bahá’í Faith. This is especially regrettable with Christians, and in some instances it has led to mistaken ideas about Bahá’í beliefs and to misunderstandings of Bahá’í intentions.

    To help resolve this difficulty, this brief compilation seeks to capture in one volume the characteristic spirit with which Jesus is glorified in Bahá’í scripture. 2


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. Effendi, Shoghi. The Promised Day Is Come. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, rev. ed., 1980, 109. [https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/shoghi-effendi/promised-day-come/1#617979506] [return]
    2. Sours, Michael W. Jesus Christ in Sacred Bahá’í Literature: A Compilation. 1st ed., Oneworld, 1995, 5-7. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 184: October 11, 1912 | San Francisco

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Darwin, and the Evolution of All Things 1

    On the evening of October 10, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed the Open Forum in San Francisco — a group devoted to the discussion of economic and philosophical ideas — and he tackled the issue of evolution head on. He argued in favor of evolution, albeit with critical differences from the physical mechanics of Darwin’s theory, and he drew an entirely different set of metaphysical conclusions. …

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk at the Open Forum was one of the longest and most intricate he delivered during his time in America. But its underlying logic rested on two principles. First, while human beings have developed biologically through many stages of evolution, we were always destined to be human, realizing a latent potential over time. Second, the qualities that distinguish us — reason, abstract thought, scientific advancement, and so on — are not merely minor differentiators, but characteristics that separate us fundamentally from animals.

    Every matter that is contrary to sound reason and science and is opposed to the fundamental principles of the divine religions is an obstacle to progress and a cause of people avoiding and rejecting the laws of God. 2

    Some physicians were in His presence today. The Master spoke with them about the use of diet to heal diseases. He then dealt with the spiritual remedy for the intellectual diseases of the people and nations:

    Today, the greatest and speediest remedy and the sole effective antidote that the Divine Physician has prescribed for the world’s ills is the oneness of humanity, universal peace, the explanation of the principles of the divine religions and the removal of dogmatic imitations and customs which are contrary to science and reason. Indeed, one of the chief reasons for irreligion among people is that the leaders of religion, such as the Catholic priests, take a little bread and wine, blow a breath over it and then say that the bread is the flesh of Christ and the wine is the blood of Christ. Of course, a man of understanding would not accept these dogmas and would say that if this bread and wine is turned into the flesh and blood of Christ by the breath of a priest, then the priest must be superior to Christ. Thus Bahá’u’lláh has said, ‘Every matter that is contrary to sound reason and science and is opposed to the fundamental principles of the divine religions is an obstacle to progress and a cause of people avoiding and rejecting the laws of God.’

    A Bahá’í children’s meeting was held in the afternoon at the home of Mrs Goodall and Mrs Cooper. When the Master saw the children, He remarked: ‘Praise be to God! What radiant children they are!’ He spoke briefly, encouraging and praising them for their courtesy and upbringing. Kissing them one by one, He greeted each child in short English sentences and each received from Him some flowers and sweets.

    He then went upstairs to meet with some Hindus who had come to visit Him. His conversation with them was this:

    Man must irrigate the Blessed Tree which has eternal fruits and is the cause of life for all on earth. This goodly Tree, though hidden at first, will erelong envelop the whole world, and its leaves and branches will reach the heavens. It is like the Tree which Buddha planted: although at first it was a small sapling, it eventually enveloped the countries of Asia.

    The Master left Mrs Goodall’s home to go for a walk. He stopped at a neighbor’s door. The lady of the house brought a chair for Him. He sat for awhile, pleased with the woman’s reverence and thoughtfulness, and bestowed His loving kindness upon her.

    In the evening the Master spoke before a joyful gathering of the Theosophical Society. The president of the society introduced ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in glowing terms, referring to the appearance of perfect souls and divine manifestations, saying:

    Each of those teachers was an educator of the world of humanity and each brought a Book for the training of the souls. This evening we have the exalted honor to have one of these educators among us. He has brought a new Message for the evolution of humanity and will speak to us this evening. I have the utmost honor to introduce to you His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, whom you know well.

    The Master then spoke about the rising of the Sun of Reality from different signs of the zodiac, the immortality of the spirit and the universality of the new Revelation. The audience was very interested and requested His permission to ask questions. Their enthusiasm and admiration was heightened when they heard His persuasive answers.

    10 October 1912, Talk at Open Forum, San Francisco, California 3

    Virtue, or perfection, belongs to man, who possesses both the capacity of the senses and ideal perception. For instance, astronomical discoveries are man’s accomplishments. He has not gained this knowledge through his senses. The greater part of it has been attained through intellect, through the ideal senses. Man’s inventions have appeared through the avenue of his reasonable faculties. All his scientific attainments have come through the faculty of reason. Briefly, the evidences of intellect or reason are manifest in man. By them he is differentiated from the animal. Therefore, the animal kingdom is distinct and inferior to the human kingdom. Notwithstanding this, the philosophers of the West have certain syllogisms, or demonstrations, whereby they endeavor to prove that man had his origin in the animal kingdom; that although he is now a vertebrate, he originally lived in the sea; from thence he was transferred to the land and became vertebrate; that gradually his feet and hands appeared in his anatomical development; then he began to walk upon all fours, after which he attained to human stature, walking erect. They find that his anatomy has undergone successive changes, finally assuming human form, and that these intermediate forms or changes are like links connected. Between man and the ape, however, there is one link missing, and to the present time scientists have not been able to discover it. Therefore, the greatest proof of this western theory of human evolution is anatomical, reasoning that there are certain vestiges of organs found in man which are peculiar to the ape and lower animals, and setting forth the conclusion that man at some time in his upward progression has possessed these organs which are no longer functioning but appear now as mere rudiments and vestiges.


    1. Sockett, Robert. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Darwin, and the Evolution of All Things.” 239 Days in America, 11 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/11/abdul-baha-darwin-and-the-evolution-of-all-things/. [return]
    2. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section202 [return]
    3. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 357-358. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#962400967 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 11, 2021

  • 10 October 2021

    Jamál, 15 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Partial results from the fall “Steve shearing” on the deck this afternoon:

    Done

    Feeling more lightheaded now than from the vaccine booster three days ago ;-)

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: I’m going with Mycelium!?

    Tab’s Galaxy on YouTube: ASMR Eating variety of chips

    Quoted

    The Fundamental Purpose Animating the Faith of God

    Addressing the people of the world, Bahá’u’lláh says:

    O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. 1

    The authors of other religions were also sent to establish unity and love, at least among their followers. Therefore, the logic behind religious conflict, which has effectively undermined the most basic tenet of those religions and caused so much suffering and bloodshed, is hard to understand. Yet, if humanity is to rid itself of the shackles of prejudices against and persecution of religious minorities, there is no escaping for it but to deal with the causes of the thorny issue of religious conflict.2


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. Baháʾuʾlláh. Tablets of Baháʼuʼlláh, Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Translated by Habib Taherzadeh. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1978, 168.

      https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/tablets-bahaullah/5#838594153

      [return]
    2. Ma’ani, Baharieh Rouhani, and Sovaida Ma’ani Ewing. Laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. 1st ed., George Ronald, 2004, viii. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 183: October 10, 1912 | San Francisco

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Six 1

    WE HAVE REACHED THE end of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sixth month in North America. Let’s look back at some of the highlights of the past thirty day. …

    California 2

    On October 10, He addressed the open Forum in San Francisco and the next day spoke to the Theosophical Society.

    If philosophers believed that the highest perfection was not to believe in abstract and spiritual truth, it would be preferable to go to the cow 3

    In addition to the gatherings of the friends at the Master’s residence, there were also meetings outside, which demonstrates the grandeur and power of the Centre of the Covenant. One took place at a high school in Berkeley where the Master spoke on the reality of God and the proofs of the revelation of the Manifestations and their teachings. Many from the area were enthused with His talk and came afterwards to receive illumination from Him.

    Another meeting was held at the Open Forum in San Francisco. Although the audience was composed mostly of philosophers and professors, they were all humbled by the talk. The Master’s profound words contrasted the philosophy of the East with that of the West, elucidated the power beyond nature and explained the inherent distinction between mankind and other creatures. He concluded with the assertion that if philosophers believed that the highest perfection was not to believe in abstract and spiritual truth, it would be preferable to go to the cow, who, without any formal training, already had this attribute. When the Master uttered these words, everyone burst into laughter. This kind of humor, delivered in such a light-hearted manner, is popular and accepted by the Americans and so brought smiles and joy to the audience. At the conclusion of the Master’s talk, when a philosopher stood up, several were heard to say to one another that the cow takes the lead in not believing in intellectual thought. The result was that everyone, even the philosophers, bore witness to the might of the divine teachings and influence of the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Indeed, the Master’s address provided a perfect and decisive proof for such people.

    Talk at Open Forum, San Francisco, California 4

    Man is distinguished above the animals through his reason. The perceptions of man are of two kinds: tangible, or sensible, and reasonable, whereas the animal perceptions are limited to the senses, the tangible only. The tangible perceptions may be likened to this candle, the reasonable perceptions to the light. Calculations of mathematical problems and determining the spherical form of the earth are through the reasonable perceptions. The center of gravity is a hypothesis of reason. Reason itself is not tangible, perceptible to the senses. Reason is an intellectual verity or reality. All qualities are ideal realities, not tangible realities. For instance, we say this man is a scholarly man. Knowledge is an ideal attainment not perceptible to the senses. When you see this scholarly man, your eye does not see his knowledge, your ear cannot hear his science, nor can you sense it by taste. It is not a tangible verity. Science itself is an ideal verity. It is evident, therefore, that the perceptions of man are twofold: the reasonable and the tangible, or sensible.


    1. Sockett, Robert. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far: Month Six.” 239 Days in America, 10 Oct. 2012, http://stagingtwo39.wpengine.com/2012/10/10/abdul-bahas-journey-so-far-month-six/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 167-168. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section201 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 357. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#551373545 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 10, 2021

  • 09 October 2021

    Jalál, 14 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    Seen

    Done

    Today is my sister’s 90th birthday. She is now one of—if not—the longest lived members on our family tree. She relocated to Colorado recently, so we celebrated without her in person by displaying some things we’re holding in storage for her along with a decorated cake:

    Cake is a mango mix by Pillsbury with homemade chocolate sour cream frosting! Some family members who tried said it was a good thing my sister was not here ;-) Guess I’ll chalk it up as “one and done.”

    Noted

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Pink Bubble Fungus or Pink Bubblegum Fungus but I could be wrong about this one, too!

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: If there’s no one beside you… 

    Quoted

    The Two Components of Human Purpose

    In the short obligatory prayer revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, one finds what appears to be a succinct statement of human purpose in terms of this metaphorical process:

    I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee.1

    The enunciation of this dictum in the obligatory prayer is a particularly valuable statement of human purpose because it is recited as a fundamental testimony of creed as well as a daily renewal of one’s individual participation in the Eternal Covenant.2


    My sister and brother-in-law recently relocated and chose to donate several books in their library rather than move them. Many of these volumes are not well-known, but due to the topics they cover and the manner in which their authors explore them, they warrant a nod of recognition before being sent on their way. Accordingly, most quotes referenced in the “Quoted” section come from these books. Maybe they will stir (or renew) your interest, too.


    1. Short Obligatory Prayer

      TO BE RECITED ONCE IN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, AT NOON

      I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth.

      There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

      —Bahá’u’lláh

      https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/prayers/bahai-prayers/2#562997275

      [return]
    2. Hatcher, John S. The Arc of Ascent: The Purpose of Physical Reality II. 1st ed., G. Ronald, 1994, 1. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 182: October 9, 1912 | San Francisco

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Speaks at Stanford University 1

    “THE HIGHEST PRAISE is due to men who devote their energies to science,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “and the noblest center is a center wherein the sciences and arts are taught and studied.” He wouldn’t have heard many complaints from the audience he was addressing on the morning of Tuesday, October 8, 1912 — two thousand students and faculty of Stanford University.

    They had filled the Assembly Hall just before 10 a.m. and now, at about 10:25, they looked up at the stage from the rows of wooden seats arcing across the floor of the auditorium, and down upon it from behind the filigreed balustrade of the balcony that ringed the space in a semicircle. They awaited the “venerable prophet, with his long gray beard and Persian cloak and turban,” the Palo Altan, a local newspaper, observed.

    California 2

    On Wednesday, October 9, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to a large gathering at a high school auditorium in Berkeley.

    If two persons differ in a matter and that difference ends in discord, then both are wrong and their position unacceptable 3

    Before He left Palo Alto several people gathered around ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He spoke of the differences in various religions, with special reference to Christianity, saying:

    Some called Christ God, some the Word of God, some others the Prophet of God, and through these differences disputes arose so that instead of spirituality there was hatred and amity was replaced by enmity. But Bahá’u’lláh has closed all the doors to such differences by appointing the interpreter of the Book and by establishing the Universal House of Justice – that is, the People’s Parliament. And by commanding an end to interference in people’s beliefs and consciences, He has barred the way to these divisions. He has even said that if two persons differ in a matter and that difference ends in discord, then both are wrong and their position unacceptable.

    After many similar talks, the Master returned to San Francisco. A meeting was especially called in the evening at the Japanese Club to hear Him speak. As the meeting began, a Japanese scholar stood up, and after obtaining permission from the Master, recited in English an ode about the attributes of the Cause of God and praising ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The chairman then introduced the Master with great respect.

    The Master then gave a fascinating talk on the dangers of prejudice, the validity and proofs of the Prophets and the truth of Islam and Christianity. He also spoke on the spread of the Cause of God, the influence of the divine teachings and spiritual education, as well as explaining the teachings and writings of Bahá’u’lláh. Even though the talk was first translated from Persian into English and then from English into Japanese, the audience was awed and excited to hear His powerful reasoning and was anxious to hear the translation of the talk.

    From this day forward multitudes came every day in great humility to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and to offer praise and thanks for the teachings.

    Talk to Japanese Young Men’s Christian Association, Japanese Independent Church, Oakland, California 4

    Religion must be the cause of love. Religion must be the cause of justice, for the wisdom of the Manifestations of God is directed toward the establishing of the bond of a love which is indissoluble. The bonds which hold together the body politic are not sufficient. These bonds may be mentioned—for instance, the bond of patriotism. This is evidently not a sufficient bond, for how often it happens that people of the same nation wage civil war amongst themselves. The bond of fellowship may be racial, but history proves this is not sufficiently strong, for tremendous wars have broken out between peoples of the same racial lineage. Again, the bond holding men together may be political. How often it happens that the diplomacy of nations makes a treaty of peace one day and on the morrow a declaration of war! It is historically evident and manifest that these bonds are not self-sufficient.


    1. Menon, Jonathan. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá Speaks at Stanford University.” 239 Days in America, 9 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/09/abdul-bahas-landmark-address-at-stanford-university/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 167. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section200 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 344. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#206325873 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 09, 2021

  • 08 October 2021

    I like the new layout of the Florida room. This corner is a great place to take some down time:

    Status:

    I have several outdoor tasks that need to be done before colder weather arrives by the end of this month. Changed my daily routine to do them in the afternoon for aerobic exercise rather than walk a mile at dawn. Day one went OK. We’ll see if I can stick with it…

    Family

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Artist’s Conk but I could be wrong!

    Bahá’í Quote - Istiqlál, 13 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    The Bahá’í writings explain that spiritual forces are the foundation of reality, the fundamental basis of life. From a Bahá’í point of view, spirit or spirituality is not just one dimension of human life, it is the motivating impulse of existence, without which nothing can live or move. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá uses the image of the sun to illustrate this. Just as the sun is the source of physical existence, the Word of God is the source of human life and civilization. After pointing out that no life would be possible without the warmth and light of the sun, He goes on to say:

    Likewise, in the spiritual realm of intelligence and idealism there must be a center of illumination, and that center is the everlasting, ever-shining Sun, the Word of God. Its lights are the lights of reality which have shone upon humanity, illumining the realm of thought and morals, conferring the bounties of the divine world upon man. These lights are the cause of the education of souls and the source of the enlightenment of hearts, sending forth in effulgent radiance the message of the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. In brief, the moral and ethical world and the world of spiritual regeneration are dependent for their progressive being upon that heavenly Center of illumination. It gives forth the light of religion and bestows the life of the spirit, imbues humanity with archetypal virtues and confers eternal splendors. This Sun of Reality, this Center of effulgences, is the Prophet or Manifestation of God. Just as the phenomenal sun shines upon the material world producing life and growth, likewise, the spiritual or prophetic Sun confers illumination upon the human world of thought and intelligence, and unless it rose upon the horizon of human existence, the kingdom of man would become dark and extinguished. 1

    Far more than holy scripture to be read and left upon a page, the Word of God is the source of light and life and separation from it is darkness and death. …It is the reality of the Manifestation of God, His power pervading the world, which creates and shapes the individual and gives life to humankind. 2


    1. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 94. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/5#077360701 [return]
    2. Dunbar, Hooper C. Forces of Our Time: The Dynamics of Light and Darkness. Reprint, George Ronald, 2011, 4-5. [return]
  • 239 Days in America, Day 181: October 8, 1912 | San Francisco

    A Most Extraordinary Day 1

    DR. DAVID STARR JORDAN, the President of Stanford University, arrived at the train station in Palo Alto, California, to meet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá not long after 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 1912. Last Thursday, just a few hours after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had arrived in San Francisco, Jordan had been one of the first to call on him. He invited ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to address his student body at 10:15 this morning.

    Dr. Jordan, now sixty-two years old, had served as the university’s president since 1891 when the institution opened. Leland Stanford, Jr., an only child, had died of typhoid fever two months shy of his sixteenth birthday while on a trip to Europe in 1884. His parents — the tycoon, Senator, and former Governor Leland Stanford and his wife Jane Elizabeth Lathrop — founded the university in his memory. “The children of California shall be our children,” Leland Stanford said.

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left San Francisco early. He usually traveled with secretaries and a few other companions, but today an entourage of twenty-nine persons crowded into the train cabins for the commute south along the western shore of San Francisco Bay, through the lands that would later become known as Silicon Valley. From the Palo Alto station, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rode in Jordan’s car up the long driveways to the Mission Revival buildings of Stanford’s Main Quad, which appeared on approach as a long low row of orange and red, stretched out above a lawn of green.

    The large auditorium was filled to capacity with 1,800 students and 180 faculty and staff. Jordan mounted the stage with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and began his words of introduction.

    California 2

    He spoke at Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto on Tuesday, October 8, and lunched with President Jordan at his home afterward. That evening He spoke at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church. An entire edition of the Palo Altan was devoted to articles concerning His visit and transcriptions of His addresses. The main headline of the November 1 edition read, “ABDUL BAHA, THE BAHA’I PROPHET, SPEAKS AT Stanford University.”

    Unity of all phenomena, man’s predominance over nature, universal peace and divine civilization 3

    Today was one of the most significant days. At the invitation of Dr David Starr Jordan, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá went to Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto. The teachings of the Cause of God were given to a large, illustrious audience at this important educational center. Apart from some 1,800 students and 180 professors from the university, many civic leaders and prominent people from the area were also assembled in the auditorium; its satellite rooms and hallways were full and many people were standing outside the entrance as well.

    The president stood and made his introductory remarks:

    It is our privilege to have with us, through the kindness and courtesy of our Persian friends, one of the great religious teachers of the world, one of the natural successors of the old Hebrew prophets. He is said sometimes to be the founder of a new religion. He has upward of three millions of people following along the lines in which He leads. It is not exactly a new religion, however. The religion of brotherhood, of good will, of friendship between men and nations is as old as good thinking and good living may be. It may be said in some sense to be the oldest of religions … I have now the pleasure, the great honor of presenting to you ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

    The Master then spoke about the unity of all phenomena, man’s predominance over nature, universal peace and divine civilization in such a way that the entire audience was overcome with admiration. The applause shook the building to its very foundation. The president closed this memorable occasion with these remarks:

    We are all under very great obligation to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for this illuminating expression of the brotherhood of man and the value of international peace. I think we can best show our appreciation by simply a rising vote of thanks.

    The audience immediately rose and showed their respect by clapping and stomping their feet.

    The Master had lunch with Dr Jordan at his home. Later that evening the Master spoke at the Unitarian Church of Palo Alto. His theme was the reality of divinity. The people were told the mysteries of the Kingdom and learned of spiritual matters. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá then went to the home of Mrs Isabel Merriman for dinner. The group present at the table was honored to be in His presence and were enchanted by His words.

    Talk at Leland Stanford Junior University, Palo Alto, California 4

    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.


    1. Menon, Jonathan. “A Most Extraordinary Day.” 239 Days in America, 8 Oct. 2012, https://239days.com/2012/10/08/a-most-extraordinary-day/. [return]
    2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 166-167. [return]
    3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=8#section199 [return]
    4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 348-349. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#039242980 [return]
  • Daily Bookmarks to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) News for October 08, 2021

  • 07 October 2021

    Grapevines:

    Our family cat for nearly 18 years was named “Puffball”. This Puffball Mushroom sprouted about 3 feet from her grave in the backyard…

    Status:

    Got the Pfizer booster today. Felt no ill-effects from the first two, so, why not?!

    The Florida room is just like I want it—at the moment. Between that and the pantry clean-up we have another round of donations almost ready to be dropped off. Will bring in houseplants over the next couple of weeks, which may very well change the arrangement.

    For now, though, I’m ready to tackle some of the boxes stored away in the garage wherein their contents have remained untouched for 20 years—just to say that I started the onerous process!

    Family

    Astral Prospecting on Instagram: Smallmouth Bass Fishing

    Marc Bosserman on Instagram: Practicing!

    Bahá’í Quote - Istijlál, 12 Mashíyyat, 178 B.E.

    The purpose of this book is to show how the Bahá’í Faith meets the needs of mankind today, and how it is building up what is believed will be a new world-wide civilization in which all people can live together in justice, harmony, and peace. The emphasis is on the practical means to this end as well as on the dream.

    Many, concerned about the condition of society and about the sense of unfulfilment in their personal lives, automatically assume that they will not find an answer in religion. Past experience has left a negative impression of superstition and escapism. This book is primarily addressed to those who have this point of view.

    What is asked of such readers is that they have an open mind. It is healthy to approach new ideas with skepticism. However, there is a need to guard against scepticism been confused with prejudice, and against it degenerating into an anti-life cynicism. 1


    1. Huddleston, John. The Earth Is but One Country. 2nd ed., Baha’ī Publishing Trust, 1980, 1. [return]

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