Monday, July 23, 2012

Obedience to those in authority and to the Laws of the Land

Obedience to those in authority and to the Laws of the Land is a necessity if peace is to be established. If the laws of the country are unjust, then they should be corrected, but not by divisive or violent measures.
The Sowing Peace Initiative aims at changing human hearts to become peaceful. It does not lobby governments or engage in demonstrations. We are against no one. We encourage all to be peaceful within themselves and in their relationships with others.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá explained 100 years ago how our relationship to the government should be.

23 July 1912, Talk at Hotel Victoria, Boston, Massachusetts
 Notes by Edna McKinney

The Bahá'ís must not engage in political movements which lead to sedition. They must interest themselves in movements which conduce to law and order. In Persia at the present time the Bahá'ís have no part in the revolutionary upheavals which have terminated in lawlessness and rebellion. Nevertheless, a Bahá'í may hold a political office and be interested in politics of the right type. Ministers, state officials and governor-generals in Persia are Bahá'ís, and there are many other Bahá'ís holding governmental positions; but nowhere throughout the world should the followers of Bahá'u'lláh be engaged in seditious movements. For example, if there should be an uprising here in America having for its purpose the establishment of a despotic government, the Bahá'ís should not be connected with it.

The Bahá'í Cause covers all economic and social questions under the heading and ruling of its laws. The essence of the Bahá'í spirit is that, in order to establish a better social order and economic condition, there must be allegiance to the laws and principles of government. Under the laws which are to govern the world, the socialists may justly demand human rights but without resort to force and violence. The governments will enact these laws, establishing just legislation and economics in order that all humanity may enjoy a full measure of welfare and privilege; but this will always be according to legal protection and procedure. Without legislative administration, rights and demands fail, and the welfare of the commonwealth cannot be realized. Today the method of demand is the strike and resort to force, which is manifestly wrong and destructive of human foundations. Rightful privilege and demand must be set forth in laws and regulations.

While thousands are considering these questions, we have more essential purposes. The fundamentals of the whole economic condition are divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit. This is fully explained in the Bahá'í teaching, and without knowledge of its principles no improvement in the economic state can be realized. The Bahá'ís will bring about this improvement  and betterment but not through sedition and appeal to physical force -- not through warfare, but welfare. Hearts must be so cemented together, love must become so dominant that the rich shall most willingly extend assistance to the poor and take steps to establish these economic adjustments permanently. If it is accomplished in this way, it will be most praiseworthy because then it will be for the sake of God and in the pathway of His service. For example, it will be as if the rich inhabitants of a city should say, "It is neither just nor lawful that we should possess great wealth while there is abject poverty in this community," and then willingly give their wealth to the poor, retaining only as much as will enable them to live comfortably.

Strive, therefore, to create love in the hearts in order that they may become glowing and radiant. When that love is shining, it will permeate other hearts even as this electric light illumines its surroundings. When the love of God is established, everything else will be realized. This is the true foundation of all economics. Reflect upon it. Endeavor to become the cause of the attraction of souls rather than to enforce minds. Manifest true economics to the people. Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. All His Books will be translated. Now is the time for you to live in accordance with His words. Let your deeds be the real translation of their meaning. Economic questions will not attract hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God.

               (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 238, 239)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another great success!

Another great success!
It is so exciting to watch world peace being established one heart at a time. Read about our last event at

Friday, July 13, 2012


The lines we've drawn in the sand
Are being washed away by the tide of love.
All the divisions that mankind has made
Are being erased by God above.

Copyright by George McNeish 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Challenges in Starting a Dialog of Peace

Challenges in Starting a Dialog of Peace
CXLV. If ye meet the abased or the down-trodden, turn not away disdainfully from them, for the King of Glory ever watcheth over them and surroundeth them with such tenderness as none can fathom except them that have suffered their wishes and desires to be merged in the Will of your Lord, the Gracious, the All-Wise. O ye rich ones of the earth! Flee not from   the face of the poor that lieth in the dust, nay rather befriend him and suffer him to recount the tale of the woes with which God's inscrutable Decree hath caused him to be afflicted. By the righteousness of God! Whilst ye consort with him, the Concourse on high will be looking upon you, will be interceding for you, will be extolling your names and glorifying your action. Blessed are the learned that pride not themselves on their attainments; and well is it with the righteous that mock not the sinful, but rather conceal their misdeeds, so that their own shortcomings may remain veiled to men's eyes.

             (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 314, 315)

In attempting to keep with my goal of starting a dialog of peace with those I meet I have met challenges strait away. Although most people are friendly and sympathetic to the goal of peace, there are also the down-trodden who are bitter with life and want revenge for the injustice that was committed against them.
Yesterday, while traveling through some parks I talked to a few people that I met intent on inviting them to the July 20th event at Gibbons Park. Many would graciously accept the invitation with some excuse why they would not likely be able to attend, but would consider it if they are in the area at the time, so it was with a bit more bravery that I approached a group sitting in a circle near the peace gardens. I introduced myself and the Sowing Peace Initiative and was met with mixed interest. One lady took a card from me and showed some interest. One wanted me to guess his nationality. When I said “Ojibwa,” I think he was disappointed that I got it right, although he never confirmed or denied it. The conversation led to Columbus and I was informed that to celebrate Columbus Day was to celebrate genocide. I agreed, because I have read much about the genocide that followed Columbus discovering America. Great nations were wiped out and the remnant that remained was treated poorly. Today alcoholism, also brought by the European Settlers, ravages much of what is left of the aboriginal civilization of this continent.  
So the challenge is, “How do I as a descendant of these European Settlers start a discussion of peace with one who is a descendant of the defeated nation?” It is well with us to suggest that we put the past behind us and try to go forward learning from the past and not making the same mistakes again, but there is no way we can give life back to those countless numbers that were murdered in the name of progress. We can say that we are very sorry that it happened, but we are living off the spoils of war. We are living on stolen land that we worked hard for and paid for with our labour and earnings. Does the fact that we bought it from someone who bought it from someone make it any less stolen? The fact is that the original settlers originally purchase it from someone who had stolen it or they got a land grant from the invading government who took it from the original inhabitants.
Blankets for land!
Yes, here is a great example of early justice. The original inhabitants, having been put into a desperate state by the invaders, are now offered blankets in exchange for their land. If this doesn’t sound unjust to you, then wait to you hear where the blankets came from. These were not new blankets by any means. They had been used by soldiers who died of smallpox. Now instead of going through the process of burning these decease laden items, they were used to purchase land. Of course the resulting smallpox epidemic wiped put much of a people who had little natural immunity to the deceases brought by the early Europeans.
Over the last few years the injustices of the past have been acknowledged. Those who had committed the crimes are long gone as are the victims, but descendants of both sides now share a blood stained land. We are now all homeless wanderers who have no place to go. Do those who had their land stolen try to steal it back? If we are living on stolen land do we return it and become homeless ourselves? We are living is a very different society the one the early settlers found, but we are only here on this earth for a short time, so it doesn’t matter so much if we have a home here. Let us try to be polite and courteous visitors while we are on this planet so we can be welcomed to our true home when we leave.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Addition vs Subtraction

One and One is Two
Addition vs Subtraction

Additions argument:
I just love addition and I do not want to see it corrupted by subtraction. We all know from the very beginning of addition that one plus one is two. Now subtraction wants to confuse the issue by saying one minus one is zero. Tell subtraction to get a life. What good is zero? What do we do when there is nothing left? With addition we will always have more. Whatever we have we can add to it and get more. There is power in addition, but subtraction wants to take that away. If you love addition you will not allow subtraction make a negative impression on you. And if subtraction does take hold, what’s next? Multiplication, division or perhaps even fractions; we don’t need these. Addition serves all our needs. It gives and never takes away. Don’t let our pure methods of addition get corrupted with these new age ideas.
Subtractions argument:
Addition is good, but it doesn’t do everything. Addition is getting, but if we keep adding and never taking away, we will become bogged down in materialism.  Subtraction is giving and sharing. If I have ten apples and give five away, I still have five. Addition can’t do that. Without subtraction there would be no room for addition. Our storage facilities would be full and we would starve to death. Subtraction is necessary for live. If we have ten apples and we eat one, we have just subtracted. Yes, with addition we can get all we need, but we can’t use it without subtraction. If the additionalist would examine the principles of addition they would see it was just a first step leading to subtraction and beyond. Yes it will progress to multiplication, division and even fractions, but this is a fulfilment of addition and not a corruption.
It is plain to see that the Divine Teachers teach us what we are capable of learning at the time, but if we reject the Divine teachings of the present because they introduce new ideas that we are not familiar with and were not taught in the past, we lose big time. The new teachings do not negate the teachings of the past, but they add to it. It is not a denial of the past but a fulfillment of it. When we close our minds to the new ideas, we become handicap and the old ideas will no longer work for us. If we don’t learn to subtract, addition will lose its power and be of no use to us.
Moses brought the revelation of God to humanity in His age. He brought social and spiritual laws to help us live. Among them was the law of the Sabbath that was designed to give us humans a break and a day of rest. By the time Jesus appeared the followers of Moses had interpreted the law in such a manner that people became slaves to the law. Moses led the people out of slavery and Jesus found them in a new kind of slavery.
When Jesus introduced new spiritual and social concepts, He was rejected by the majority of the followers of Moses. When He explained that the law was made for man and not that man was made for the law, He was accused of blasphemy and corrupting the law of God. Have the followers of Jesus suffered for accepting His teachings. No, they went on to found great governments and establish kingdoms on earth. They did not reject the teachings of Moses, but added the teachings of Jesus to them. Many more became acquainted with the teachings of Moses through the efforts of the Christians and there was no harm whatsoever done to the law of Moses.
Again humanity progressed and became in need of new ideas and teachings. The people of the Arabic area were nomadic tribes living in a constant state of war. God sent Mohammad and the tribes were united into a great nation. The Muslim universities became renown over the world and even many Christian leaders were educated in these Muslim institutions. If you doubt the advantages of these new ideas, try balancing your bank account or filing your tax return using roman numerals. Our present number system and mathematics is an outcome of Muslim educational techniques.
Over the last few hundred years we have seen the world increasingly being ravaged by war. Each nation wanting to protect its way of life would rise up against anyone perceived to be a threat to its ideals.  Politics, religion and materialism all contributed to the greed of expanding territories and defeating the enemy. Christ’s injunction to “love your enemies” was forgotten as even one Christian ideology would rise up in war against another. At such a time, God’s twin Messengers, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh came with a message of love and unity.  Bahá’u’lláh annulled the rule of the sword and replaced it with the power of utterance. He says;
Know thou that We have annulled the rule of the sword, as an aid to Our Cause, and substituted for it the power born of the utterance of men. Thus have We irrevocably decreed, by virtue of Our grace. Say: O people! Sow not the seeds of discord among men, and refrain from contending with your neighbor, for your Lord hath committed the world and the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the emblems of His own power, by virtue of the sovereignty He hath chosen to bestow upon them. He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world's dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men's hearts, that He may cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane. Open, O people, the city of the human heart with the key of your utterance. Thus have We, according to a pre-ordained measure, prescribed unto you your duty.

   (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 303, 304)

We see in the past how, despite insurmountable odds and extreme opposition, the law of God was established and human society was advanced. We also see that, without these new ideas, human society was doomed and its destruction would have resulted. Now, more than ever we see the destruction of the human race looming on one side while the revelation of God is rushing in on the other to save it. The world is waiting for the life giving Message that has been entrusted to those faithful followers who have recognized it. The veils must be rent asunder, the clouds dispersed and the hearts unlocked so the revelation of Glory may shine with its life giving rays on all of humanity.
Yes; many problems can be solved with addition, but we need subtraction, multiplication, division and many other aspects to solve all the problems. Even so, the past revelation of God was good and sufficient to solve the problems of the Day in which it was revealed, to solve the problems of today we need the current revelation of God and we must learn the rules and conditions of the future world order which is currently being established.