20 October 2022
Istijlál, 05 ‘Ilm (Knowledge), 179 B.E
Morning light on the leaves…
Beedy Parker, a “How’s The Weather?” colleague, gave me an unexpected email “gift” this morning. Here’s my response.
Thanks so much for sending me this diagram:
It brings back so many memories associated with the start of my consulting career. The perspectives of four women shaped my early thinking about social system dynamics. Hazel Henderson is one of them. Joining her are Marilyn Ferguson, Riane Eisler, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Together they became fuel rods on my deep-space mission into human behavior that is still my life.
There are no coincidences. You sent the diagram as I am developing another set of graphics on an ecological theme: flows. As you know, living systems function by the flow of resources from one state to another and back again. One can infer flow dynamics from the cake but they remain embedded in one’s imagination. My upcoming graphics attempt to make these flows explicit. I’ll share them with you as soon as I have them drafted. Again, THANKS!
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From another horizon we see Muḥammad, the Prophet of Arabia, appearing. You may not know that the first address of Muḥammad to His tribe was the statement, “Verily, Moses was a Prophet of God, and the Torah is a Book of God. Verily, O ye people, ye must believe in the Torah, in Moses and the prophets. Ye must accept all the prophets of Israel as valid.” In the Qur’án, the Muslim Bible, there are seven statements or repetitions of the Mosaic narrative, and in all the historic accounts Moses is praised. Muḥammad announces that Moses was the greatest Prophet of God, that God guided Him in the wilderness of Sinai, that through the light of guidance Moses hearkened to the summons of God, that He was the Interlocutor of God and the bearer of the tablet of the Ten Commandments, that all the contemporary nations of the world arose against Him and that eventually Moses conquered them, for falsehood and error are ever overcome by truth. There are many other instances of Muḥammad’s confirmation of Moses. I am mentioning but a few. Consider that Muḥammad was born among the savage and barbarous tribes of Arabia, lived among them and was outwardly illiterate and uninformed of the Holy Books of God. The Arabian people were in the utmost ignorance and barbarism. They buried their infant daughters alive, considering this to be an evidence of a valorous and lofty nature. They lived in bondage and serfdom under the Persian and Roman governments and were scattered throughout the desert, engaged in continual strife and bloodshed. When the light of Muḥammad dawned, the darkness of ignorance was dispelled from the deserts of Arabia. In a short period of time those barbarous peoples attained a superlative degree of civilization which, with Baghdád as its center, extended as far westward as Spain and afterward influenced the greater part of Europe. What proof of Prophethood could be greater than this, unless we close our eyes to justice and remain obstinately opposed to reason? 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, 367-368. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#055996365 [return]