Fidál, 07 Qawl (Speech), 179 B.E


Photo from earlier this fall…


Staked up three small jade plants (Crassula ovata). Originally, I had rooted them in water before I potted them as one cluster earlier this year. They grew tall and spindly. I hope the staking will support them until their trunks gain more girth.

Repotted one of my sister’s mother-in-law’s tongue plants (Dracaena trifasciata) into two smaller pots. As I was doing this I thought about how, other than my sister and nephew who live hundreds of miles away, no one else in the family likes houseplants. When I’m done, the plants are done. Don’t tell the plants, though. Better they don’t know their fate ahead of time ;-)


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Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. The Philosophy of History. New York : Dover Publications, 1956.


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Loury, Glenn. “The Ethics of Giving in the Very Long Term.” Substack newsletter. Glenn Loury (blog), November 20, 2022.

Masters, Suzette Brooks, and Ruby Hernandez. “Imagining Better Futures for American Democracy.” Democracy Funders Network, 2022.

McKibben, Bill. “Organizing After Twitter.” Substack newsletter. The Crucial Years (blog), November 29, 2022.

Pogrebin, Robin. “Anderson Cooper Explores Grief and Loss in Deeply Personal Podcast.” The New York Times, November 28, 2022, sec. Arts.

Sahm, Claudia. “Inflation Due to Covid and War in Ukraine Shows Us the Limits of Monetary Policy.” Substack newsletter. Stay-At-Home Macro (blog), November 29, 2022.

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Social.Coop Members. “How To Make The Fediverse Your Own.” Social.Coop Wiki. Accessed November 29, 2022.


Nope. Still nothing more.


This evening I wish to speak to you concerning the mystery of sacrifice. There are two kinds of sacrifice: the physical and the spiritual. The explanation made by the churches concerning this subject is, in reality, superstition. For instance, it is recorded in the Gospel that Christ said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” He also said, “This [wine] is my blood … which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” These verses have been interpreted by the churches in such a superstitious way that it is impossible for human reason to understand or accept the explanation.

They say that Adam disobeyed the command of God and partook of the fruit of the forbidden tree, thereby committing a sin which was transmitted as a heritage to His posterity. They teach that because of Adam’s sin all His descendants have, likewise, committed transgression and have become responsible through inheritance; that, consequently, all mankind deserves punishment and must make retribution; and that God sent forth His Son as a sacrifice in order that man might be forgiven and the human race delivered from the consequences of Adam’s transgression.

We wish to consider these statements from the standpoint of reason. Could we conceive of the Divinity, Who is Justice itself, inflicting punishment upon the posterity of Adam for Adam’s own sin and disobedience? Even if we should see a governor, an earthly ruler punishing a son for the wrongdoing of his father, we would look upon that ruler as an unjust man. Granted the father committed a wrong, what was the wrong committed by the son? There is no connection between the two. Adam’s sin was not the sin of His posterity, especially as Adam is a thousand generations back of the man today. If the father of a thousand generations committed a sin, is it just to demand that the present generation should suffer the consequences thereof? 1

  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, 449. [return]