"There are two contrasting forces working within man, the animal nature and the spiritual one. Self and passion may be described as the expression of the animal nature in the life of man, that nature which tends to drag him down into the abyss of material existence. On the other hand, the soul, which emanates from the spiritual worlds of God, becomes, if illumined with the light of faith, the motive power for the elevation of man into the realms of the spirit. One brings about his perishing on this earth, the other confers eternal life in the realms of God.
"These two opposing forces within man are similar to the force of gravity pulling down a bird and the force of its wings lifting it upwards. As long as man turns away from the Manifestation of God -- in this day Bahá'u'lláh -- his soul is in darkness and devoid of the necessary power to lift itself up from the fetters of this mortal world. The animal nature becomes victor and the soul a bond-slave of self and passion."
~ Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 3, p. 35
after getting the kids off to school, i sit down with a french-pressed cup of black coffee to relax and read some news before a full day of activity begins. i peruse the headlines of the BBC, the New York Times and Aljazeera on my iGoogle page. i overlook the political ones and try to find ones that look worthy of attention or interesting..
today i was attracted to a headline highlighting '10,000 political prisoners jailed in Eritrea'. i immediately wondered how and why such a large number of people could be imprisoned. after reading about the elusiveness of how Eritrea governs itself, my eye was drawn to the chilling and unthinkably devastating and deplorably horrendous headline about Congolese soldiers raping children. this is the moment when serenity left my heart and the coffee lost its flavor..
as a Baha'i who feels like a cell that's intricately connected with every other cell in the body of humanity, this kind of atrocity against people, especially children -- and rape being of the category of the most despicable of crimes violating the dignity of a female -- leaves me in that state where my stomach feels sick. humanity is sick with these spiritual diseases; it needs every cell to be healthy and to strengthen the body like the immune cells work together to combat disease. when i feel that aching and disgust of our fellow human beings treating the human family in unimaginably terrible ways, i draw upon my spiritual powers and resolve once again to do my part -- to banishing ignorant prejudice from hearts by demonstrating unconditional love to all i can in every possible circumstance; to explaining to boys and men how humanity is like a bird with one wing being the women who must be respectfully treated and just as able to help the bird soar; to validating every person who feels less than others who are materially and usually educationally more advanced than they are; and to touching every girl and boy i meet and know with the love of God in order to infuse such love into their own hearts so that they will never want to hurt anyone..
in the scheme of humanity's evolution we are experiencing a phenomenal emergence into all that is possible to ultimately achieve world peace -- the purpose underlying all that is enabling humanity to become one beautifully diverse human family -- but before that cherished dream is attained, the ravages of rape, war and other atrocities against human beings proliferates because there are still too many people without the divine Teachings from God for this Day..
i am living at this extraordinary time for a definite purpose of which i ponder and strive consciously to fulfill each day. i am investing as much energy as i can toward the betterment of the world, upon which depends each of us making choices that are worthy of our high station as human beings.
the world has become so known, so full of information, of media and images, which provides us limitless opportunities to connect, to learn, to build bridges of understanding, etc. but it also provides a darkened heart a vehicle for evil to spread. i search for the good, the social, educational and economic advancements, the ecological restorations, the progressive discoveries, the interesting innovations, and the spiritual victories. i immerse myself in the world with the intent that it will not harm or hurt my spirit, cloud my judgment, steal my energy, darken my outlook, or disturb my mind.
as much as i consciously make decisions to protect my spirit from the impact of all that pertains to the disintegration and degradation of humanity, each day i must put on my spiritual armor of prayer, recitation of the holy Word of God, selfless service and striving to exemplify a high standard of conduct to combat those forces which pollute my spirit and weigh down the wings of my soul..