Planet's Most Valuable Sports Teams 2011


(Nasa image)

September 26, 2011

A. Syrian teen executed



CNN Syria

'Alhusni was only 18 when she stepped away from her Homs residence last month to buy groceries. Her family never again saw her alive. She was whisked away by Syrian security forces to coax the surrender of her activist brother, and ended up beheaded and dismembered, a neighbor, activists and human rights groups say...'

'Her older brother, Mohammed, became a well-known activist in the family's hometown of Homs in western Syria, often leading the demonstrations against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and treating the wounded.'

The tremendous desperation and sickness of a regime to execute an eighteen year old woman largely it sounds like because of an association with her activist brother as she was rounded up off the street. According to the report she was decapitated, chopped into four parts and then burned.

(Windows Images)

B. Driving

Driving from Maple Ridge to Vancouver from home to church and back on Sunday is a spiritual challenge. I usually attempt to pray on the way there not leaving everything to do at the service or especially the Lord's Table. I confess my sins asking for cleansing and also thank the Lord for blessings and the lack of troubles in many areas. At the same time I definitely ask for changes and upgrades in my life.

1 Corinthians 11:26-34

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.

The spiritual challenge comes from many of the drivers. I actually usually find the 'slow drivers' more irritating than the 'fast drivers'. Like many drivers I drive the speed limit/spirit of the law. I drive the allowable speed limit. The fast drivers that drive by, they pass and they tend to not be a danger to me very often. The slow drivers often are more likely to be a nuisance and a potential danger because of a tendency to, for example, not move to the slow lane, and worse to often keep hitting the brakes rather than simply slow down while in traffic. One should also be maintaining a proper distance between other vehicles in order to not be tempted to over brake. What hitting the brakes does is of course trigger those pretty red rear lights and cause cars behind them to often do the same. These red lights seem to serve as hypnotic stop signs for some, and not enough seem to realize that he or she may be a tailgater which is why one often hits the brakes. This approach to driving annoys me because it slows the traffic down, often needlessly and more importantly it also increases the chances of a multi-car pile-up. I have no interest in being involved in a 1980s episode of CHIPS.

If drivers would leave braking to basically stop lights, stop signs, initial parts of sharp corners and emergencies this would make freeway, highway and street driving more efficient and safer.

It would also improve my Sunday spirituality.

Further, I am not claiming to be a 'F1 driver' but I reason many people on the road over brake because they simply lack driving skill. Sadly, these types lead me to at times a struggle with the use of the tongue, and no I am not discussing the use of Biblical tongues.

Now the people in Vancouver proper especially that the cross the street, including crosswalks without even looking at the traffic, in faith, that is another story...

I always look, I am not interested in blind faith.


(Weirdwebsites.info)


Abbotsford, BC (Keller Williams scan)

September 27, 2011

C. Planet's Most Valuable Sports Teams 2011

Forbes: Top Ten


$1.86 Billion: English Premier League


Dallas Cowboys

$1.81 Billion: National Football League



New York Yankees

$1.7 Billion: Major League Baseball



Washington Redskins

$1.55 Billion: National Football League



Real Madrid

$1.45 Billion: Spanish La Liga



New England Patriots

$1.37 Billion: National Football League



Arsenal

$1.19 Billion: English Premier League



New York Giants

$1.18 Billion: National Football League



Houston Texans

$1.17 Billion: National Football League



New York Jets

$1.14 Billion: National Football League



Others listed:

Philadelphia Eagles, $1.12 Billion, National Football League
Baltimore Ravens, $1. 07 Billion, National Football League
Ferrari, $1. 07 Billion, Formula 1
Chicago Bears, 1. 07 Billion, National Football League

Fifty teams are listed, most from the National Football League.

I am 'of course' once again 'shocked' there are no National Hockey League teams on the list. One would think there would be with the mighty Toronto Maple Leafs and all that expansion to the southern United States.

"reward and punishment"

Justice He [Baha'u'llah] extols as "the light of men" and their "guardian," as "the revealer of the secrets of the world of being, and the standard-bearerof love and bounty"; declares its radiance to be incomparable; affirms that upon it must depend "the organization of the world and the tranquillity ofmankind." He characterizes its "two pillars" -- "reward and punishment" -- as "the sources of life" to the human race; warns the peoples of the world tobestir themselves in anticipation of its advent; and prophesies that, after an interval of great turmoil and grievous injustice, its day-star will shine inits full splendor and glory.


-- Shoghi Effendi

Helloo People

Helloo People

The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat,...

"Know of a truth that your subjects are God's trust amongst you. Watch ye, therefore, over them as ye watch over your own selves. Beware that ye allow not wolves to become the shepherds of the fold, or pride and conceit to deter you from turning unto the poor and the desolate. Arise thou, in My name, above the horizon of renunciation, and set, then, thy face towards the Kingdom, at the bidding of thy Lord, the Lord of strength and of might."And further We have said: "Deal not treacherously with the substance of your neighbor. Be ye trustworthy on earth, and withhold not from the poor the things given unto you by God through His grace. He, verily, will bestow upon you the double of what ye possess. He, in truth, is the All-Bounteous, the Most Generous. O people of Baha! Subdue the citadels of men's hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer, then, with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward. If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin. He, verily, is the Concealer, the Lord of grace abounding. O ye rich ones on earth! If ye encounter one who is poor, treat him not disdainfully. Reflect upon that whereof ye were created. Every one of you was created of a sorry germ."
 -- Baha'u'llah

هموطن

the purpose of this life is to .....

In considering the effect of obedience to the laws on individual lives, one must remember that the purpose of this life is to prepare the soul for the next. Here one must learn to control and direct one's animal impulses, not to be a slave to them. Life in this world is a succession of tests and achievements, of falling short and of making new spiritual advances. Sometimes the course may seem very hard, but one can witness, again and again, that the soul who steadfastly obeys the law of Baha'u'llah, however hard it may seem, grows spiritually, while the one who compromises with the law for the sake of his own apparent happiness is seen to have been following a chimera: he does not attain the happiness he sought, he retards his spiritual advance and often brings new problems upon himself.
 Universal House of Justice

Surih of the Temple

In His [Baha'u' llah] Suratu'l-Haykal (the Surih of the Temple) He thus describes those breathless moments when the Maiden, symbolizing the "Most Great Spirit" proclaimed His mission to the entire creation: "While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head. Turning My face, I beheld a Maiden -- the embodiment of the remembrance of the name of My Lord -- suspended in the air before Me. So rejoiced was she in her very soul that her countenance shone with the ornament of the good-pleasure of God, and her cheeks glowed with the brightness of the All-Merciful. Betwixt earth and heaven she was raising a call which captivated the hearts and minds of men. She was imparting to both My inward and outer being tidings which rejoiced My soul, and the souls of God's honored servants. Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: 'By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive.'"
-- Shoghi Effendi,
The light that is shed from the heaven of bounty, and the benediction that shineth from the dawning-place of the will of God, the Lord of the Kingdom of Names, rest upon Him Who is the Supreme Mediator, the Most Exalted Pen, Him Whom God hath made the Dawning-Place of His most excellent names and the Dayspring of His most exalted attributes. Through Him the light of unity hath shone forth above the horizon of the world, and the law of oneness hath been revealed amidst the nations, who, with radiant faces, have turned towards the Supreme Horizon, and acknowledged that which the Tongue of Utterance hath spoken in the kingdom of His knowledge: "Earth and heaven, glory and dominion, are God's, the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the Lord of grace abounding!"

 Baha'u'llah

The teaching work .....

The teaching work should under all conditions be actively pursued by the believers because divine confirmations are dependent upon it. Should a Bahá'í refrain from being fully, vigorously and wholeheartedly involved in the teaching work he will undoubtedly be deprived of the blessings of the Abhá Kingdom. Even so, this activity should be tempered with wisdom--not that wisdom which requireth one to be silent and forgetful of such an obligation, but rather that which requireth one to display divine tolerance, love, kindness, patience, a goodly character, and holy deeds. In brief, encourage the friends individually to teach the Cause of God and draw their attention to this meaning of wisdom mentioned in the Writings, which is itself the essence of teaching the Faith--but all this to be done with the greatest tolerance, so that heavenly assistance and divine confirmation may aid the friends.

the power of thought is dependent on its manifestation in deeds.


Some men and women glory in their exalted thoughts, but if these thoughts never reach the plane of action they remain useless:the power of thought is dependent on its manifestation in deeds. A philosopher's thought may, however, in the world of progressand evolution, translate itself into the actions of other people, even when they themselves are unable or unwilling to show forththeir grand ideals in their own lives. To this class the majority of philosophers belong, their teachings being high above theiractions. This is the difference between philosophers who are Spiritual Teachers, and those who are mere philosophers: theSpiritual Teacher is the first to follow His own teaching; He brings down into the world of action His spiritual conceptions andideals. His Divine thoughts are made manifest to the world. His thought is Himself, from which He is inseparable. When we find aphilosopher emphasizing the importance and grandeur of justice, and then encouraging a rapacious monarch in his oppression andtyranny, we quickly realize that he belongs to the first class: for he thinks heavenly thoughts and does not practise thecorresponding heavenly virtues.


.....polish the mirrors of hearts....

The light of the sun becomes apparent in each object according to the capacity of that object. The difference is simply one of degree and receptivity. The stone would be a recipient only to a limited extent; another created thing might be as a mirror wherein the sun is fully reflected; but the same light shines upon both.
The most important thing is to polish the mirrors of hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light. One heart may possess the capacity of the polished mirror; another, be covered and obscured by the dust and dross of this world. Although the same Sun is shining upon both, in the mirror which is polished, pure and sanctified you may behold the Sun in all its fullness, glory and power, revealing its majesty and effulgence; but in the mirror which is rusted and obscured there is no capacity for reflection, although so far as the Sun itself is concerned it is shining thereon and is neither lessened nor deprived. Therefore, our duty lies in seeking to polish the mirrors of our hearts in order that we shall become reflectors of that light and recipients of the divine bounties which may be fully revealed through them.

....the worthless and foolish have fondly imagined ...


That the Manifestations of Divine justice, the Day Springs of heavenly grace, have when they appeared amongst men always been destitute of all earthly dominion and shorn of the means of worldly ascendancy, should be attributed to this same principle of separation and distinction which animateth the Divine Purpose. Were the Eternal Essence to manifest all that is latent within Him, were He to shine in the plentitude of His glory, none would be found to question His power or repudiate His truth. Nay, all created things would be so dazzled and thunderstruck by the evidences of His light as to be reduced to utter nothingness. How, then, can the godly be differentiated under such circumstances from the froward?
This principle hath operated in each of the previous Dispensations and been abundantly demonstrated…. It is for this reason that, in every age, when a new Manifestation hath appeared and a fresh revelation of God’s transcendent power was vouchsafed unto men, they that misbelieved in Him, deluded by the appearance of the peerless and everlasting Beauty in the garb of mortal men, have failed to recognize Him. They have erred from His path and eschewed His company—the company of Him Who is the Symbol of nearness to God. They have even arisen to decimate the ranks of the faithful and to exterminate such as believed in Him.
Behold how in this Dispensation the worthless and foolish have fondly imagined that by such instruments as massacre, plunder and banishment they can extinguish the Lamp which the Hand of Divine power hath lit, or eclipse the Day Star of everlasting splendor. How utterly unaware they seem to be of the truth that such adversity is the oil that feedeth the flame of this Lamp! Such is God’s transforming power. He changeth whatsoever He willeth; He verily hath power over all things….

Flat Bible Revisited


Monte Carlo (Google Images)

A. Flat Bible

Flat Bible was originally discussed as a topic Monday, September 24, 2007

I will add material to this section of this month's post.

Progressive revelation is defined as the understanding that God's self-disclosure is in progression from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling (1999: 96). Therefore the New Testament offers a more complete revelation from a Christian perspective. The Old Testament is to be understood in light of the fuller teaching of the New Testament. Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling (1999: 96).

Someone once asked me in person about progressive revelation and we had a discussion on Facebook. This is the revised answer I sent:

At Columbia Bible College (Mennonite) and Canadian Baptist Seminary, I was taught that the Bible is not flat, as there is progressive revelation which ended in the apostolic age. Therefore there is no need or place for Islam, Latter-Day Saints, or other continuing the Christian faith.

Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. (Hebrews 12: 24). Hughes describes it as a better covenant (Hebrews 8: 6) as the old one was inadequate not permanent. Hughes (1977)(1990: 551). The law in particular was only a shadow of good things to come. (Hebrews 10). The law cannot save as discussed in Romans 4, but persons are saved through righteousness of faith fulfilled in Christ. Galatians 2 mentions the folly of following the law as we now have Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 4-6, Jesus explains the deeper spiritual meanings of the law. The new covenant provided atonement that was 'fully adequate and everlasting in its efficacy'. Hughes (1977)(1990: 551). Christ provides 'the blood of the eternal covenant (Hebrews 13: 20)'.
Hughes (1977)(1990: 551).

The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is as valid as the New Testament, but it is often stated that one must interpret the Old Testament through the New Testament. I can agree with this concept since there is progressive revelation, but the Old Testament must be read in context, or else one risks reading the New Testament into the Old Testament. Christianity explains that the New Testament revelation of Christ/apostles does not contradict the previous revelation and instead adds to it explaining the plan of God. Islam is rejected for reasons such as the denial of key doctrines about Christ, including his deity, and the Latter-Day Saints theology is rejected for reasons such as holding to polytheism which is against Scriptural teaching. (Isaiah 43, 44, 45). There are various reasons why these other religions are rejected as well, but I mention those key points. If my concentration academically was more focused on the Hebrew Bible, I would have no problem with studying Hebrew scholars for the original context as this should be done, but I reason the New Testament can shed light on many of the older teachings.

In the Westminster Confession, Chapter XIX points out that the moral law does bind forever, even though true believers be not under law as a covenant of works. Westminster Confession (Chapter XIX). The new covenant does not contain the old covenant ceremonial laws but does contain the spirit of the same moral law. So, the same basic moral law is repeated.

GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI AND CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.

HUGHES, PHILIP. (1977)(1990) A Commentary On The Epistle To The Hebrews, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646).


Monte Carlo (Google Images)

B. Aliens

In regard to a recent friendly discussion, the following is a philosophical difficulty with replacing the Biblical God or Deistic God with speculation that aliens created human beings and by default avoiding dealing with the issue of a primary cause.

Aliens existing in the physical universe of matter would likely be physical beings and would be finite. In philosophical terms a secondary cause when they commit actions.

Even if aliens from some hyper-speculative theory did create human beings, the aliens as a secondary cause would have created human beings also physical beings of finite matter, a secondary cause when they commit actions.

Therefore there would still be the need for an infinite, non-matter/non-material, primary first cause that existed prior to the beginning of finite time and matter in order to avoid a vicious regress in the process of creating the aliens.

Further:

In the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Simon Blackburn discusses ‘infinite regress’ and mentions that this occurs in a vicious way whenever a problem tries to solve itself and yet remains with the same problem it had previously. A vicious regress is an infinite regress that does not solve its own problem, while a benign regress is an infinite regress that does not fail to solve its own problem. Blackburn writes that there is frequently room for debate on what is a vicious regress or benign regress.

In The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, William Tolhurst writes that a vicious regress is in some way unacceptable as it would include an infinite series of items dependent on prior items. A vicious regress may be impossible to hold to philosophically, or it may be inconsistent. From the same volume, Raymond D. Bradley cautions that the mere existence of an infinite series is not the same as infinite regression, and is not philosophically objectionable. His first example is that every natural number (a positive integer, 1,2,3,4, …, or a non-negative integer, 0,1,2,3,4,…) has a successor that is a natural number. Bradley writes that it would not be illogical to state that each free act of consequence is a result of an act of free choice. Bradley thinks that trying to answer infinite regress by bringing in the idea of the theist’s God makes no sense.


BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford, University, Press.

BRADLEY, RAYMOND D. (1996) ‘Infinite Regress Argument’, in Robert Audi, (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


TOLHURST, WILLIAM (1996) 'Vicious Regress', in Robert Audi, (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

C. Atom

The smallest part of an element that can exist and consists of small dense nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons. The number of electrons equals the number of protons so the overall charge is stated to be zero. Electrons orbit around the nucleus. (61).

Oxford Dictionary of Science
, (2010), Sixth Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

funny gifs
Would not an Atom and Eve cult be weird?

D. Video


Shared this one previously.

The commercial overlooks the fact many world religions have such different views on the nature of God, that they could not reasonably be expecting the same final ultimate spiritual being. Christianity is not expecting another teacher to surpass Christ, as God's work in Christ will not be surpassed.

The late Avatar Adi Da Samraj claimed to be the supremely great spiritual being. This is a false claim.

E. Jets

The new Winnipeg Jets main logo along with the main logos of the other six Canadian teams. Rumours are consistent in the media in Canada and the United States that Quebec City will be the next NHL franchise by relocation whenever that occurs, meaning Canada would have eight teams once again, its all-time high. Perhaps the Canucks can find a new team playoff time to meltdown against in the clutch. Yes, I am glad I am a Manchester United supporter.


F. Netlog and WAYN

Friends asked me to join each site, but so far I have found some of each site's membership questionable. On WAYN I have already been dealing with a Russian scammer, although she is using some newer techniques that I have not come across in years past with other scammers and now this morning via someone on Netlog here is this classic junk from 'Sweet Heart'. Enjoy.

Sites that mention:

Romancescam.com/Sweet Heart

Anti-scam/Sweet Heart

'Dear Sweet Heart
Greetings to you my dear, I am writing to you with a heart full of tears and sadness, but first I have to say compliments of the season and I'll be waiting for my email in response to my request to you, please tell me more about your car and intenssion to me if you agree to be intimate with me, My name is Miss Favour Siako i am 24 years old, but age does not matter in a real relationship, I am the only surviving daughter of my late father (Dr. Siako Adams) of Liberia, in the small town of Grand Bassa, am 5. 8tall 173cm, but I am currently residing in Dakar Senegal under asylum as a refugee, I'm a sophomore at the University of Liberia studying mass communication before the war started in my country until the death of my late father Dr S. Adams, my father was the director general of Siako Manufacturing and he was the personal advice to the former head of State ( former President of Liberia Charles Taylor) before the rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my mom and dad in cold blood. I'm open minded girl easy, safe, hard working and caring, always keep my word. looking for someone who is honest, as I wrote in my profile to marry, no matter where it comes from and no matter their religion back tail.

I am single never married and active and I like everything he does, for example, easy and comfortable life, go to the beach, cooking, watching TV, like sports football, etc, shopping, reading newspapers and novels, walk.pls after long time I would have liked to chat with u but in this field are not allowed to go out often.

I have no relative who can now go to all my relatives ran away in the midst of war, the only person I have now is the Rev. Danny King, who is the pastor of Christ (for all Churches) here in the Camp been good to me since I got here, but I'm not living with him rather i am leaving in the women's hostel because the camp have two hostels one for men and another for women. And I use to contact you via computer Reverend Danny King here in the camp i sent and received, also here is the Reverend pastor Danny King phone number (+221-76-33-86-879) for easier to hear your voice, When you call tell the reverend pastor Danny King wants to speak to Miss Favour Siako He sent for me,

As a refugee here I have no right or privilege to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country.I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the incident that traggic lead to my being in this situation now took place.Please hear this, I have my late father's account and death certificate here with me I'll send you the letter because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money a leading financial company in which he used my name, Favour and family members, the amount involved is (Certificate of Deposit) to (U.S. $ 4m) four million U.S. dollars deposited by my late father in the bank I'm the next of kin.

So I would like to help me transfer this money to their care and from it you can send some money for me to get my traveling documents and air ticket to come to meet with you.I kept this secret to people in camp here the only person who knows about it is the Reverend because he is like a father to me. So in the light of above i will like you to keep you and not tell anyone for fear I have lost my life and the money if people gets to know.

Remember i am giving all this information due to trust and love i deposited on you.I like honest and understanding people, truthful and a man of vision, truth and working hard.
The mean time I would like you to answer me as I told you I have much to say .. If you accept and is willing to help i connect my picture here, please kindly attach your recent photo and details to contact you to answer me.

Have a nice day and think you hear me.Awaiting
Thank you my dear and take good care of himself.
A lovely lady Favour yours'

The betterment of the world

"The betterment of the world," is yet another statement, "can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable andseemly conduct." "Be fair to yourselves and to others," He thus counseleth them, "that the evidences of justice may be revealedthrough your deeds among Our faithful servants." "Equity," He also has written, "is the most fundamental among human virtues. The evaluationof all things must needs depend upon it." And again, "Observe equity in your judgment, ye men of understanding heart! He that is unjust inhis judgment is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man's station." "Beautify your tongues, O people," He furtheradmonishes them, "with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty. Beware, O people, that ye deal not treacherouslywith anyone. Be ye the trustees of God amongst His creatures, and the emblems of His generosity amidst His people." "Let your eye bechaste," is yet another counsel, "your hand faithful, your tongue truthful, and your heart enlightened." "Be an ornament to thecountenance of truth," is yet another admonition, "a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of lifeto the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue." "Let truthfulness and courtesy be youradorning," is still another admonition; "suffer not yourselves to be deprived of the robe of forbearance and justice, that the sweet savorsof holiness may be wafted from your hearts upon all created things. Say: Beware, O people of Baha, lest ye walk in the ways of them whosewords differ from their deeds. Strive that ye may be enabled to manifest to the peoples of the earth the signs of God, and to mirrorforth His commandments. Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, for the professions of most men, be they high or low, differ from theirconduct. It is through your deeds that ye can distinguish yourselves from others. Through them the brightness of your light can be shedupon the whole earth. Happy is the man that heedeth My counsel, and keepeth the precepts prescribed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, theAll-Wise."


A rectitude of conduct,

A rectitude of conduct, an abiding sense of undeviating justice, unobscured by the demoralizing influences which a corruption-ridden political life so strikingly manifests; a chaste, pure, and holy life, unsullied and unclouded by the indecencies, the vices, the false standards, which an inherently deficient moral code tolerates, perpetuates, and fosters; a fraternity freed from that cancerous growth of racial prejudice, which is eating into the vitals of an already debilitated society—these are the ideals which the American believers must, from now on, individually and through concerted action, strive to promote, in both their private and public lives, ideals which are the chief propelling forces that can most effectively accelerate the march of their institutions, plans, and enterprises, that can guard the honor and integrity of their Faith, and subdue any obstacles that may confront it in the future.

This rectitude of conduct, with its implications of justice, equity, truthfulness, honesty, fair-mindedness, reliability, and trustworthiness, mustdistinguish every phase of the life of the Baha'i community. "The companions of God," Baha'u'llah Himself has declared, "are, in this day, the lumpthat must leaven the peoples of the world. They must show forth such trustworthiness, such truthfulness and perseverance, such deeds and characterthat all mankind may profit by their example." "I swear by Him Who is the Most Great Ocean!" He again affirms, "Within the very breath of such soulsas are pure and sanctified far-reaching potentialities are hidden. So great are these potentialities that they exercise their influence upon allcreated things." "He is the true servant of God," He, in another passage has written, "who, in this day, were he to pass through cities of silver andgold, would not deign to look upon them, and whose heart would remain pure and undefiled from whatever things can be seen in this world, be they itsgoods or its treasures. I swear by the Sun of Truth! The breath of such a man is endowed with potency, and his words with attraction."


Words of Wisdom ....

  • The source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasure.
  • The essence of wisdom is the fear of God, the dread of His scourge and punishment, and the apprehension of His justice and decree.
  • The essence of religion is to testify unto that which the Lord hath revealed, and follow that which He hath ordained in His mighty Book.
  • The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath bestowed, and contentment with that which God hath ordained.
  • The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord.
  • The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love.
  • The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.
 Words of Wisdom, Bahá'u'lláh

... trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart

The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him. These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts. All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them....

The purpose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the Will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and wisdom. His object is to array every man with the mantle of a saintly character, and to adorn him with the ornament of holy and goodly deeds. 

"Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh"

O concourse of the rulers of the world!

Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities. Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be. Whenever the True Counsellor uttered a word in admonishment, lo, they all denounced Him as a mover of mischief and rejected His claim. How bewildering, how confusing is such behavior! No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union. The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny. If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established amongst the children of men, and the effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth. The Great Being saith: The structure of world stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of reward and punishment....
In another passage He hath written: Take heed, O concourse of the rulers of the world! There is no force on earth that can equal in its conquering power the force of justice and wisdom....
Blessed is the king who marcheth with the ensign of wisdom unfurled before him, and the battalions of justice massed in his rear. He verily is the ornament that adorneth the brow of peace and the countenance of security. There can be no doubt whatever that if the day star of justice, which the clouds of tyranny have obscured, were to shed its light upon men, the face of the earth would be completely transformed.

 Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh

O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land!

How true are these words of Baha'ullah taday. 


O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land! Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind, and bettereth the condition thereof, if ye be of them that scan heedfully. Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires, and have erred grievously. And if, at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

We behold it, in this day, at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage, much less recognize a Revelation so bewildering and challenging as this. And whenever any one of them hath striven to improve its condition, his motive hath been his own gain, whether confessedly so or not; and the unworthiness of this motive hath limited his power to heal or cure.







Pay thou no heed to the humiliation to which...

Pay thou no heed to the humiliation to which the loved ones of God have in this Day been subjected. This humiliation is the pride and glory of all temporal honor and worldly elevation. What greater honor can be imagined than the honor conferred by the Tongue of the Ancient of Days when He calleth to remembrance His loved ones in His Most Great Prison? The day is approaching when the intervening clouds will have been completely dissipated, when the light of the words, “All honor belongeth unto God and unto them that love Him,” will have appeared, as manifest as the sun, above the horizon of the Will of the Almighty.

All men, be they high or low, have sought and are still seeking so great an honor. All, however, have, as soon as the Sun of Truth shed its radiance upon the world, been deprived of its benefits, and have been shut out as by a veil from its glory, except them that have clung to the cord of the unfailing providence of the one true God, and have with complete detachment from all else but Him turned their faces towards His holy court.
Render thanks unto Him Who is the Desire of all worlds for having invested thee with such high honor. Ere long the world and all that is therein shall be as a thing forgotten, and all honor shall belong to the loved ones of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful.

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.


Let truthfulness and courtesy be your adorning

By the righteousness of God! The world and its vanities, and its glory, and whatever delights it can offer, are all, in the sight of God, as worthless as, nay, even more contemptible than, dust and ashes. Would that the hearts of men could comprehend it! Cleanse yourselves thoroughly, O people of Bahá, from the defilement of the world, and of all that pertaineth unto it.
That which beseemeth you is the love of God, and the love of Him Who is the Manifestation of His Essence, and the observance of whatsoever He chooseth to prescribe unto you, did ye but know it.
 Say: Let truthfulness and courtesy be your adorning. Suffer not yourselves to be deprived of the robe of forbearance and justice, that the sweet savors of holiness may be wafted from your hearts upon all created things. Say: Beware, O people of Bahá, lest ye walk in the ways of them whose words differ from their deeds.
 
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Thou art the Ever-Forgiving.

I am a sinner, O my Lord, and Thou art the Ever-Forgiving. As soon as I recognized Thee, I hastened to attain the exalted court of Thy loving-kindness. Forgive me, O my Lord, my sins which have hindered me from walking in the ways of Thy good pleasure, and from attaining the shores of the ocean of Thy oneness.
There is no one, O my Lord, who can deal bountifully with me to whom I can turn my face, and none who can have compassion on me that I may crave his mercy. Cast me not out, I implore Thee, of the presence of Thy grace, neither do Thou withhold from me the outpourings of Thy generosity and bounty. Ordain for me, O my Lord, what Thou hast ordained for them that love Thee, and write down for me what Thou hast written down for Thy chosen ones. My gaze hath, at all times, been fixed on the horizon of Thy gracious providence, and mine eyes bent upon the court of Thy tender mercies. Do with me as beseemeth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the God of power, the God of glory, Whose help is implored by all men.
~ Bahá’u’lláh

the integrity of your life







Letter to the 18 first believers, spiritual dawn-breakers called the Letters of the Living, from The Bab (meaning The Gate), Herald of the Baha'i Faith.

"O My beloved friends! You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day. You have been chosen as the repositories of His mystery. It behoves each one of you to manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power and glory. The very members of your body must bear witness to the loftiness of your purpose, the integrity of your life, the reality of your faith, and the exalted character of your devotion. For verily I say, this is the Day spoken of by God in His Book:[1] 'On that day will We set a seal upon their mouths yet shall their hands speak unto Us, and their feet shall bear witness to that which they shall have done.' Ponder the words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth to propagate the Cause of God. In words such as these, He bade them arise and fulfil their mission: 'Ye are even as the fire which in the darkness of the night has been kindled upon the mountain-top. Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognize and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven. You who are His spiritual children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness to His glory. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?' . . .

O My Letters! Verily I say, immensely exalted is this Day above the days of the Apostles of old. Nay, immeasurable is the difference! You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised Day of God. You are the partakers of the mystic chalice of His Revelation. Gird up the loins of endeavour, and be mindful of the words of God as revealed in His Book:[2] 'Lo, the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the company of His angels arrayed before Him!' Purge your hearts of worldly desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning. Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by 'turning back,' He may 'change you for another people,' who 'shall not be your like,' and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God. The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him. 'The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.' You are the lowly, of whom God has thus spoken in His Book:[3] "And We desire to show favour to those who were brought low in the land, and to make them spiritual leaders among men, and to make them Our heirs.' You have been called to this station; you will attain to it, only if you arise to trample beneath your feet every earthly desire, and endeavour to become those 'honoured servants of His who speak not till He hath spoken, and who do His bidding.' You are the first Letters that have been generated from the Primal Point,[4] the first Springs that have welled out from the Source of this Revelation. Beseech the Lord your God to grant that no earthly entanglements, no worldly affections, no ephemeral pursuits, may tarnish the purity, or embitter the sweetness, of that grace which flows through you. I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day. Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I, who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements. . . ."



[1 The Qur'án.]

[2 The Qur'án.]

[3 The Qur'án.]

[4 One of the Báb's titles.]

The purpose of religion ....

The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God's holy Willis to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world;make it not the cause of dissension and strife.  The religion ofGod and His divine law are the most potent instruments and the surestof all means for the dawning of the light of unity amongst men. The progress of the world, the development of nations, the tranquillityof peoples, and the peace of all who dwell on earth are among theprinciples and ordinances of God.  Religion bestoweth upon man themost precious of all gifts, offereth the cup of prosperity, impartetheternal life, and showereth imperishable benefits upon mankind. Baha'u'llah


The purpose of all the divine religions is the establishment of thebonds of love and fellowship among men, and the heavenly phenomena ofthe revealed Word of God are intended to be a source of knowledge andillumination to humanity.  So long as man persists in hisadherence to ancestral forms and imitation of obsolete ceremonials,denying higher revelations of the divine light in the world, strife andcontention will destroy the purpose of religion and make love andfellowship impossible.  Each of the holy Manifestations announcedthe glad tidings of His successor, and each One confirmed the messageof His predecessor.  Therefore, inasmuch as They were agreed andunited in purpose and teaching, it is incumbent upon Their followers tobe likewise unified in love and spiritual fellowship.  In no otherway will discord and alienation disappear and the oneness of the worldof humanity be established.
Abdu'lBaha

(LATEST) Be The Change You Want To See

As Bahá'ís, having faith in the betterment of the world is very important. The quotation shown in the beginning of the video reminds us to not only show our faith in God through words alone; rather our lives should animate our belief through deeds and actions. The idea for this video came together when a group of youth met for a weekend and decided to make a song to show how faith inspires them. The first day was dedicated to inspiring workshops, brainstorming, writing and recording. The second day was spent filming and final critiques. This is the result!



We thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our faith and look forward to seeing the other diversity of videos submitted.



Edited by:

Nadim Merrikh



It hath been decreed by Us that the Word…

It hath been decreed by Us that the Wordof God and all the potentialities thereof shall be manifested unto men in strict conformity with such conditions as have been foreordained by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. We have, moreover, ordained that its veil of concealment be none other except its own Self. Such indeed is Our Power to achieve Our Purpose. Should the Word be allowed to release suddenly all the energies latent within it, no man could sustain the weight of so mighty a Revelation. Nay, all that is in heaven and on earth would flee in consternation before it.
Consider that which hath been sent down unto Muḥammad, the Apostle of God. The measure of the Revelation of which He was the bearer had been clearly foreordained by Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Powerful. They that heard Him, however, could apprehend His purpose only to the extent of their station and spiritual capacity. He, in like manner, uncovered the Face of Wisdom in proportion to their ability to sustain the burden of His Message. No sooner had mankind attained the stage of maturity, than the Word revealed to men’s eyes the latent energies with which it had been endowed—energies which manifested themselves in the plenitude of their glory when the Ancient Beauty appeared, in the year sixty, in the person of ‘Alí-Muḥammad, the Báb. 

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

 

The purpose of God in creating man hath been,

The purpose of God in creating man hathbeen, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol. Such a man hath attained the knowledge of the station of Him Who is “at the distance of two bows,” Who standeth beyond the Sadratu’l-Muntahá. Whoso hath failed to recognize Him will have condemned himself to the misery of remoteness, a remoteness which is naught but utter nothingness and the essence of the nethermost fire. Such will be his fate, though to outward seeming he may occupy the earth’s loftiest seats and be established upon its most exalted throne. This principle hath operated in each of the previous Dispensations and been abundantly demonstrated…. It is for this reason that, in every age, when a new Manifestation hath appeared and a fresh revelation of God’s transcendent power was vouchsafed unto men.

Bahá'u'lláh Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

There are two mighty banners which ...

There are two mighty banners which, when they cast their shadow across the crown of any king, will cause the influence of his government quickly and easily to penetrate the whole earth, even as if it were the light of the sun: the first of these two banners is wisdom; the second is justice. Against these two most potent forces, the iron hills cannot prevail, and Alexander’s wall will break before them. It is clear that life in this fast-fading world is as fleeting and inconstant as the morning wind, and this being so, how fortunate are the great who leave a good name behind them, and the memory of a lifetime spent in the pathway of the good pleasure of God.

`Abdu'l-Bahá The Secret of Divine Civilization

True civilization will unfurl its banner in ....

True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the world whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded sovereigns—the shining exemplars of devotion and determination—shall, for the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace. They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world. They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This supreme and noble undertaking—the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world—should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth. All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to ensure the stability and permanence of this Most Great Covenant. In this all-embracing Pact the limits and frontiers of each and every nation should be clearly fixed, the principles underlying the relations of governments towards one another definitely laid down, and all international agreements and obligations ascertained.
In like manner, the size of the armaments of every government should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others. The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure.

`Abdu'l-Bahá The Secret of Divine Civilization

Looking through the Oxford Dictionary of Science



Somewhere where they receive a lot more sunny weather than Greater Vancouver...



A. Looking through the Oxford Dictionary of Science



Even as this is primarily a blog that deals with theology, philosophy of religion, Biblical studies and satire, scientific issues do arise as well and are of course important. Education and academics today do require at least at times the learning of disciplines outside of one's areas of expertise. Somewhat similarly my PhD thesis was completed within a Religion and Theology Department, but the content, as was the MPhil thesis, was as much philosophy/philosophy of religion and it was theology as it primarily dealt with the topics of the problem of evil and theodicy. As well I was required to do some research into empirical theology and social research which included statistics, and also researched how empirical theology related to science. With post viva revisions I was required to research some scientific journals on the subject of consciousness. Even without completing science course work and degrees I have done at least some science research in my academic career and reason I need to keep learning about science particularly in how it relates to the main disciplines I study. The origin of humanity is a topic/subject, for one, that can cover the disciplines of Biblical studies, theology, philosophy, and of course science.



Being quite pleased with the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy and the Oxford Dictionary of the Bible which I use, I bought on discount with damaged beat up cover the Oxford Dictionary of Science. Yes, I had to ask for the discount and all sales are final, but the price was right. Interestingly, unlike the other two texts this has no author on the cover, although there is a listing with Editors, Advisers, and Contributors provided on a credits page. I have bought other science texts during my academic career and been given other texts, but this text will be particularly helpful for blogging in its dictionary form and its size in larger than the other two Oxford volumes put together.



Oxford Dictionary of Science, (2010), Sixth Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press.



Interesting how the definition differs for entropy for example in the science text, compared to the philosophy text, a term and subject that would be discussed across disciplines even in theology at times:



From the Science Dictionary: Symbol (S) a measure of the unavailability of a systems energy to do work; in a closed system an increase in entropy is accomplished by a decrease in energy available. When a system undergoes change the entropy (S) changes by the amount equal the energy (Q) transferred to the system by heat divided by the thermodynamic temperature (T) at which this occurs. However, all real processes are to a certain extent irreversible changes and in any closed system an irreversible change is accompanied by an increase in entropy. (292).



In a wider sense entropy is interpreted as a measure of disorder, the higher the entropy, the greater the disorder and it states see the Boltzmann Formula. This is the second law of thermodynamics and involves the heat death of the universe. (292).



Simon Blackburn provides a less technical definition and agrees entropy is a property of a closed thermodynamical system. Entropy is a measure of the disorder in the system. He reasons the second law of thermodynamics states entropy always increases. Basically, a useful philosophical summation is provided. Blackburn (1996: 121).



BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.



Also in the huge 889 page science volume:



Evolution: Interestingly the text theorized 3000 million (3 billion) years of evolution and explains that up until the middle of the 18th century there was the generally intellectually accepted concept that God created living species. The text then goes on to claim Darwinian natural selection which it states is supported by modern genetics, for example. But, it admits, and I find this quite interesting, that evolution as theory is quite controversial and needs to be firmly clarified in regard to relationships of groups above the species level (304).



All in all a useful text that I will be using as a tool for blogging.



Christian scientific site I am familiar with:



Reasons to Believe



Also Jeff Jenkins of Thoughts and Theology has been showing some clips from Exploration Films lately:



Exploration Films



B. Various





'Classic' high-pitched voice guru. No, all religions are not the same.





If you find the music annoying (one vote from me) you can of course turn the volume down on YouTube.









On the web this is noted as supposedly in India, the home of technical support for many home computer owners. Does potential electrical fire come to mind?





(Image from Amazon.com)

Thanks, Jeff



From:







The Vancouver Sun: Bert & Ernie wedding: Sesame Street says no



'Are wedding bells in the cards for Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie, roommates in the iconic children's TV show who have long been rumoured to be gay?



There's an online petition at the activism website Change.org, with more than 5,000 signatures, which is calling for such a union, or for something else to happen on the show to teach kids that having a different sexual orientation is OK.



"Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics . . . they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation."'



I just heard about this on Albert Mohler's Podcast.



In regard to this article I think it is okay for kids to reason that the puppets are asexual/nonsexual. I think it is okay to let children figure it for themselves minus some political/moral agenda.



August 20, 2011



C. Age of the universe the Oxford Dictionary of Science



Having received a reasonable number of comments this month I return to the main topic. The text under this entry states that the age of the universe is the reciprocal value of the Hubble constant ( which is the rate at which the velocity of recession of galaxies increases with distance... Hubble time is a measure of age of universe assuming that expansion rate has remained constant, and it is assumed the expansion of the universe is accelerating. p 400). The Hubble constant according to the Oxford text is assumed to be 13.7 billion years old. p 18. But, it is admitted that the calculation of the Hubble constant and the age of the universe will depend of what theory of cosmology is used. They state that it is usually tied to calculations concerning the expansion of the universe arising from a big-bang theory. p. 18.



I deduce from this entry there is room for some debate in regard to the age of the universe, even from a secular scientific perspective in regard to cosmology which does overlap with the field of philosophy which of course overlaps with the field of theology.



احیای عظمت ایران



فیلمی کوتاه دربارۀ تاریخ پرشکوه و گذشته پرعظمت ایران و پیش بینی آیندۀ این کشور از دیدگاه دیانت بهائی

... polish the mirrors of hearts ...

The light of the sun becomes apparent in each object according to the capacity of that object. The difference is simply one of degree and receptivity. The stone would be a recipient only to a limited extent; another created thing might be as a mirror wherein the sun is fully reflected; but the same light shines upon both.

The most important thing is to polish the mirrors of hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light. One heart may possess the capacity of the polished mirror; another, be covered and obscured by the dust and dross of this world. Although the same Sun is shining upon both, in the mirror which is polished, pure and sanctified you may behold the Sun in all its fullness, glory and power, revealing its majesty and effulgence; but in the mirror which is rusted and obscured there is no capacity for reflection, although so far as the Sun itself is concerned it is shining thereon and is neither lessened nor deprived. Therefore, our duty lies in seeking to polish the mirrors of our hearts in order that we shall become reflectors of that light and recipients of the divine bounties which may be fully revealed through them.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Promulgation of Universal Peace

Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this.
For man two wings are necessary. One wing is physical power and material civilization; the other is spiritual power and divine civilization. With one wing only, flight is impossible. Two wings are essential. Therefore, no matter how much material civilization advances, it cannot attain to perfection except through the uplift of spiritual civilization.

'Abdu'l-Bahá

When a true seeker determineth...

When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this Day how most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion and error.
Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker's heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being.

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh