Fidál, 10 Mulk (Dominion), 178 B.E.



Earlier today, Tony Budak bookmarked an important blog post by Charles Eisenstein titled “On the Great Green Wall, And Being Useful.” I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but for now, I would like to draw your attention to the last two paragraphs which I quote here:

For society to put people to good use, it must hold a general agreement in answer to the question, “What is a human being for?” That is the wellspring of the ideas that animate the mosaic of projects. It creates the feeling, “We know why we are doing this.” It is a shared story that encodes shared values. Anyone grounded in it will be immune to the blandishments of extremists, cultists, and fascists with their false stories of what a human being is and why we are here.

What is the true story? I might say, “Human beings are a sacred gift, here to serve with love the next unfolding of life and beauty on earth,” but that is too vague, too contained, too tidy in the face of the mystery. Whatever the story is, we recognize projects like the Great Green Wall as part of it. The time of having no discernible use is coming to an end. Crisis—environmental, social, political—has shattered the sheltering and imprisoning walls of normality. A breeze wafts through the gaps, stirring the feeling “Now I know why I am here.” For some that stirring is as yet faint. It will grow stronger as the breakdown accelerates.

Basically, he’s proposing that addressing the question, “What is a human being for?” is a prerequisite for answering the question about climate change posed by the Global Rebirth group in “How’s The Weather?

The current set of global social systems used to manage human behavior do so through a ruling minority who have more than enough many times over to survive and thrive and, in turn, keep the vast majority engaged in the desperate pursuit for their basic needs. This disparity and imbalance leads us all to participate in a mind game in which we determine who has more value than others, who deserves to succeed and who doesn’t, and even who should die and who should live.

Eisenstein suggests that the “rules” or “principles” that define these social systems need to change in order for EVERYONE to be part of the solution rather than the problem because it is only by EVERYONE contributing their human spirit and intelligence that we will see our way forward to meet the challenges at hand.


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Amid all this, we have observed a specific, heartening phenomenon, whose early glimpses we described in our message to your 2015 conference as representing a new frontier. Although learning how to embrace large numbers is a characteristic of any cluster where the third milestone has been passed, the focus of the friends necessarily begins to broaden as they approach a point where a significant proportion of the population of a particular area is taking part in community-building activities. This might be true for only a specific residential area in a cluster, or for several such areas, or for a single village; other parts of the cluster might not yet share the same reality. But in such locations, the thoughts of the friends labouring at the grassroots are increasingly occupied with the progress and well-being of everyone dwelling in the vicinity. Bahá’í institutions feel more keenly their responsibility for the spiritual education of an entire generation of children and junior youth, most or even all of whom might already be engaged in community activities. Local Spiritual Assemblies strengthen their relationships with authorities and local leaders, even entering into formal collaborations, and growing attention is given to the multiplying initiatives of social action arising from groups of junior youth, youth, women, families, or others who are responding to the needs around them. The sheer level and variety of activity requires Auxiliary Board members to appoint multiple assistants to serve a single village or neighbourhood; each assistant might follow one or more lines of action, offering counsel and support as necessary, and lending momentum to the processes in motion. 1

  1. Universal House of Justice. “To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors.” Bahá’í Reference Library, 30 Dec. 2021, [return]