July 16, 2009

radiance of spirit ~ the Xhosa people

i love the Xhosa people i meet in cape town!  i admire how they are radiant in spirit in spite of the apartheid past and the lack of true support from those in cape town who aren’t Xhosa. every person i have met is surprised about me learning the language or going to the townships. it seems so natural to me yet i know most white people cling to what makes them comfortable without adjusting their way of life if they don’t have to. i know many people’s hearts are good but they don’t realize how significant it is to extend a sincere hello in another language, or make an effort to be a genuine friend. overall there is genuine regard for others but the self-preservation of culture seems to take over one’s sense of moving beyond cordial relationships. each generation has the potential to be full of all-embracing acceptance and love. i know it takes time, just like with america’s race relations, but it is God’s Will for humanity to be like a beautiful garden of diversity and unity, all together, contributing unique aspects of culture to the whole beauty of humanity. this is the last stage of humanity’s progression: unity of the human race. to me, it doesn’t mean uniformity. it means a recognition of our Oneness which deeply pervades our consciousness to enable the love we have in our hearts to transcend limited notions of the human family. this is where the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh ignite a spark of hope and keep it lit with constancy.

i know i am a soul who plays a unique part in helping humanity move toward a spiritual civilization, one heart at a time. i know that service to the human race is my true reality and purpose in this life. i strive constantly to overcome my weaknesses and instead grow in the perfections of God, day by day, little by little, until i wing my flight unto our soul’s eternal home….

it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the injustice in the world. i am easily sensitive to it and my heart feels pain deeply. i cannot rest then or be content with the current state of affairs, but i choose not the political path but rather the spiritual one.

July 12, 2009

O army of God! The Exalted One, the Báb, gave up His life. The Blessed Perfection gave up a hundred lives at every breath. He bore calamities. He suffered anguish. He was imprisoned. He was chained. He was made homeless and was banished to distant lands. Finally, then, He lived out His days in the Most Great Prison. Likewise, a great multitude of the lovers of God who followed this path have tasted the honey of martyrdom and they gave up everything -- life, possessions, kindred -- all they had. How many homes were reduced to rubble; how many dwellings were broken into and pillaged; how many a noble building went to the ground; how many a palace was battered into a tomb. And all this came about that humankind might be illumined, that ignorance might yield to knowledge, that men of earth might become men of heaven, that discord and dissension might be torn out by the roots, and the Kingdom of Peace become established over all the world. Strive ye now that this bounty become manifest, and this best-beloved of all hopes be realized in splendour throughout the community of man.

O army of God! Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Pray ye for all; ask ye that all be blessed, all be forgiven. Beware, beware, lest any of you seek vengeance, even against one who is thirsting for your blood. Beware, beware, lest ye offend the feelings of another, even though he be an evil-doer, and he wish you ill. Look ye not upon the creatures, turn ye to their Creator. See ye not the never-yielding people, see but the Lord of Hosts. Gaze ye not down upon the dust, gaze upward at the shining sun, which hath caused every patch of darksome earth to glow with light. 74
O army of God! When calamity striketh, be ye patient and composed. However afflictive your sufferings may be, stay ye undisturbed, and with perfect confidence in the abounding grace of God, brave ye the tempest of tribulations and fiery ordeals.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 72)