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1060) Published: Dialogue: Monologue: A Funny Old World October 26, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Dialogue.
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Typed and written 12:05, Friday, 23rd October 2009 CE
Posted 23:47, Monday, 26th October 2009 CE
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1060) A Funny Old World
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Its like segregation and apartheid rolled into one. Like living behind a partition of frosted glass, separate, uninvolved, alone. It peaceful enough, but lifeless. If you’ve had a life like mine you’d know what I’m talking about. A doctor once asked me when it had all started. “1940?” he asked. As far as I know, it all started when I was born. And nothing ever really changed. I remember in hypnotherapy, seeing a newly born baby being held by its ankles by one clinical hand, this baby’s body smeared with blood, being gawped at my other humans as if a marvel of modern technology. And the baby was thinking, “For Christ’s sake, I’m a human being! I need love, not fascination! Get a life!” And so the pattern was set. A human being in a world where no one knew that this “creature” was a human being. So I felt unconnected; alive but alone, continually. That was 1955. I was premature, and further “separated” by being in the hospital for a few months, with all my material needs met, but no human CONTACT. Funny how history repeats itself. From one hierarchical authoritarian organisation to another, year upon year. From Sister Frith at Farnborough Hospital, to being at home, under the enthusiastic but uncomprehending gaze of a mad boxer dog with superhuman strength and energy, called Anna. Then whatever little attention I got but interrupted by my sister and brother destroying my monopoly of attention, and I retreated further into myself and started watching television, where Gerry Anderson’s puppets displayed a predictability, reliability trustworthiness, consistency and altruism far superior than anything real human beings were capable of. Being with human beings, I did as I was told without any questions. They weren’t allowed. Only blind obedience. So I obeyed everyone with power, or pretended to. When I watched television I was free; THAT was my life, and I developed it. A fantasy world to fulfill me, when I wasn’t obliged to play act at good behaviour. More hierarchy. Dad. No way to disobey him without a court martial, or at least a federal case. Then boarding school, for 7 years. Then a religious hierarchy, to act as an emotional crutch, to follow on from Gerry Anderson’s puppets, Project Apollo and psychodelic progressive rock. And after the religious hierarchy made it clear to me, that living apart from mankind in an escapist fantasy world was NOT what God wanted for me, stress, anxiety and guilt with its consequences of a nervous breakdown and hospitalisation. That was 1976, in the heat of the great draught, and the beginning of over 30 years in emotional and intellectual suspended animation under the liquid cosh. Quite a sentence! But in 2006, various things happened that liberated me, which was nice!

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1059) Published: Dialogue: Time for a Change October 26, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Dialogue.
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Typed 17:37, Tuesday, 20th October 2009 CE
Written c.15:15, Tuesday, 20th October 2009 CE
Posted 2343, Monday, 26th October 2009 CE
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1059): Time for a Change
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Scene 1: Pub Chat

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(The sound of pub chat, the sound of beer glasses clinking, with Argent’s song “Hold Your Head Up” playing on the jukebox in the background.

 

The door opens. Patrick notices Toby coming in.)

 

Patrick: Ah, Toby, over here.

 

Toby:               Hi, Patrick, long time.

 

Patrick: Yep, what’ll you have.

 

Toby:               Oh, thanks, a pint of Carlsberg please. You already got one?

 

Patrick: Yes, a cranberry juice, a la Sargeant Nicholas Angel. Capic?

 

Toby:               Yes, I’ve seen “Hot Fuzz”; its a very funny film. Why, have you joined Thames Valley Police?

 

Patrick:             Nah, still doing PPE at Balliol with one and a half years to go. Why, have you?

 

Toby:               Nah, still doing Economics at Balliol with 6 months to go. So why cranberries instead of your usual tipple?

 

Patrick:             Its a long story. What’s your perspective on world history? What conditioning have you been through?

 

Toby:               Ah, a philosophising debate on intellectual gymnastics a la Tolkien and Lewis in this venerable watering hole, eh?

 

Patrick:             Nowhere quite like the Eagle and Child, I agree. So, who’s your favourite thinker? I know you’re keen on Chomsky. So where’s the world heading and why? Discuss!

 

Toby:               Well, in the light of the imminent and gradual decline of the capitalist empire, what’s going to fill the vacuum?

 

Patrick:             What do YOU think? World-wide Islamic theocracy? Reversion to iron-age tribalism? Sci-fi technological superstate fueled by nothing but science? Return of Christ signalising the physical end of Planet Earth? Invasion by Martians?

 

Toby:               Well, in the absence of a super-power, namely America, surely China will fill the gap. But a new Chinese hegemony? I don’t think so. China’s not had a history of aggression . What about China mediating between the other powers to create a World Federal Government and world peace?

 

Patrick:             That’s the leaders’ job, but what about ordinary people?

 

Toby:               What’s that to do with cranberries and Carlsberg?

 

Patrick:             I know, I’m being tedious, but bear with me. Be patient. Its worth it.

 

Toby:               Ordinary people eh? Well, we’ve got crime, terrorism, teenage pregnancies, breakdown of marriage and family, binge drinking, distrust of everyone in authority, endemic dishonesty, selfish materialism, strife and conflict between virtually everyone…

 

Patrick:             So what’s gone wrong, or is going wrong?

 

Toby:               Well, a lack of morality, I suppose, no consensus about what’s right and wrong. A total discrediting of religion.

 

Patrick:             Aha, so if the religions are ineffective, what happens next? What happened in history, when religion failed?

 

Toby:               Well, when Rome collapsed, Christianity was already around to pick up the pieces, when the Roman mythic religions had decayed.

 

Patrick: Yes…?

 

Toby:               Are you saying that a new religion will pick up where Western Civilization leaves off?

 

Patrick:             Yes…?

 

Toby:               Not an existing religion?

 

Patrick:             Which one would you choose?

 

Toby:               Well, they’re all in disarray. Catholic versus Protestant. Sunni versus Shi’ah. Hasidic versus progressive. What religion can bring peace, unless its got unity and coherance?

 

Patrick:             A new one?

 

Toby:               You’ve NOT become a Scientologist have you? They’ve got some good ideas, but plenty of weird ones; surely they can’t reconstruct the world?

 

Patrick:             No, what would a new religion teach, if it arrived now, fitting in with the Zeitgeist?

 

Toby:               Well, it wouldn’t fit in. How can a religion fit in with an atheistic, scientific, secular, materialistic, reductionist, deterministic civilization built on reason and logic?

 

Patrick:             It can’t, so what would a new religion teach?

 

Toby:               World peace, therefore world government, religion agrees with science, men and women equal, all religions acknowledged as divine in origin, something like that?

 

Patrick:             Yeah, pretty much. So if a new religion arrived which did that, what would you say?

 

Toby:               But I’m not interested in religion. I’m perfectly happy being responsible for myself without being ordered around by some imaginary supreme being. Why should anyone need religion to help them sort out the world’s problems?

 

Patrick:             What about an antidote to crime, terrorism, promiscuity, breakdown of marriage and family, drunkenness, drug addiction, disrespect for authority…

 

Toby:               Okay, so the world needs a new religion even if I don’t. When do you think it might appear?

 

Patrick:             What if its already arrived 165 years ago and has come like a thief in the night?

 

Toby:               What year was that, 165 years ago?

 

Patrick:             1844

 

Toby:               You’ve become a Mormon! Disappeared golden plates? Jesus among the tribes of North America? Really, I don’t think…

 

Patrick:             No, Joseph Smith died in 1844. His movement started earlier.

 

Toby:               So, in 1844, a new religion started for the modern age. I don’t suppose you’re going to name it, are you?

 

Patrick:             Not yet. What else happens when a new religion arrives? Does everyone welcome it with open arms? Priests, government leaders, the people? What generally happens?

 

Toby:               Well, it usually gets slated for threatening vested interests. Is that what happened to this one too? Any deaths, martyrdoms?

 

Patrick:             20,000 in the 1840s and 1850s, and 200 in the alte 1970s and early 1980s.

 

Toby:               Really? 20,000? Where?

 

Patrick:             Persia.

 

Toby:               Uhuh? And what does the Ayatollah think of this new religion? Heresy and blasphemy?

 

Patrick:             Yep.

 

Toby:               Hmmm! (pause) So why hasn’t news of this new religion hot the headlines.

 

Patrick:             Don’t know. Perhaps our numbers are still too small to be significant or to seem to be significant.

 

Toby:               Oh, so you’ve actually joined then? And to what dizzy heights of numbers have you elevated your new religion?

 

Patrick:             Still no more than 5 to 7 million, less than the 14 million of Judaism, but then , how numerous was Christianity in 165 AD?

 

Toby:               Hmmm. So its an open secret? Nobody’s hiding it, but not many are noticing it or discussing it, either?

 

Patrick:             Except people here and there like us. Yes, its perfectly available to all, but its not obvious what it is. There are lots of spiritual leaders from the east with spiritual principles. Why should this be any different?

 

Toby:               And what IS different about it?

 

Patrick:             What was different about Jesus from the likes of Mani and Mithras and all the other “messiahs” who appeared in Roman times? Why did Jesus attract hundreds of millions of followers and the others so very few?

 

Toby:               Because Jesus was sent by God? Because He was the genuine article, and the others just men with ideas?

 

Patrick:             Exactly.

 

Toby:               So you’re saying that another Messenger from God, like Jesus, appeared in Victorian times, has 7 million followers, and will have an impact on Western Civilization as Jesus had on the Roman Empire?

 

Patrick:             Yes, I am.

 

Toby:               Wow…(pause)…I’m lost for words. If this is true it changes everything.

 

Patrick:             Yes, it does. It’s epic.

 

Toby:               I don’t suppose you could lend me a book to read up on it? Can you recommend one, or a web-site perhaps? What is the next step?

 

Patrick:             Well, next Wednesday, there’s a meeting to introduce a short course on basic spiritual principles as a foundation. Its called “Reflecting on the Life of the Spirit” and it’s in 3 parts, on reading and understanding Scripture, Prayer, and the Afterlife, pretty much stuff that you’d find in every religion. But it sets the scene. I’d also invite you to browse a web-site, www.bahai.org

 

Toby:               Oh, Baha’i! Yes, I’ve heard of that. I thought it was a persecuted offshoot of Shi’ah Islam, like the Ahmadiyyahs are persecuted by the Sunnis. You’re saying that Baha’i is a new religion for the whole world?

 

Patrick:             Yes, just as Christianity was 2,000 years ago, and not just an unconventional sect of Jewish zealots. Look into it and decide for yourself. A new world religion to re-make the whole world, or just an offshoot of Persian Islam? I don’t think you’ll find any bad fruit. Jesus said “ye shall know them by their fruits”.

 

Toby:               Another cranberry juice, Sarge?

 

Patrick:             I don’t mind if I do, Toby. What’ll you be having?

 

Toby:               Oh, a Kalibur and lime, I think. Why NOT alcohol, anyway?

 

Patrick:             Er, because its toxic, and clouds the mind, and anyway, if there’s to be world unity, why have a drink which decimates whole populations of indigenous tribes?  Not all mankind has the genetic tolerance to alcohol that’s enjoyed by Europeans.

 

Toby:               Right you are. Kalibur is it. Next Wednesday, you say? Where? What time? I intend to be there!

 

Typed and written 12:33, Wednesday, 21st October 2009 CE

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Scene 2: Group Dynamics

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(An upstairs, 2nd floor flat, above a supermarket on a Wednesday at 19:00. The old Edwardian sash-windows look out over a city centre roundabout. There is a bookcase on the left, with the windows behind the viewer. On the right is a cheap commercial print on the wall, with a door to the hallway, and from the back wall, a door to a small galley kitchen on the right, to a master bedroom on the left.)

 

Hannah:            (To Ben, her husband) Ben, do you think everything’s tidy enough?; they’ll be arriving soon.

 

Ben:                 Don’t you worry, it’ll do. Everything will be fine.

 

Hannah             I do hope so. (doorbell rings) Ah, here’s the first. (Goes into the hallway to open the door)

 

Ben:                 Darling, this is Patrick and his friend, Toby. This is my husband, Ben.

 

Toby:               Pleased to meet you.

 

Patrick:             Hi, Hannah, Hi Ben.

 

Toby:               Will there be many more? How many are you all expecting?

 

Ben:                 We’re hoping for 8, including ourselves, so 4 down, 4 to go. Please, take a seat. Can I get you two a drink? Juice, tea, coffee?

 

Toby                I cuppa tea would be nice. It’s cold out there, this time of year.

1058) Published: Dialogue: The Interrogation October 26, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Dialogue.
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Typed and written 09:46, Tuesday, 20th October 2009 CE
Posted 23:32, Monday, 26th October 2009 CE
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1058) The Interrogation
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Officer Bashir:  So, Masoud, we meet again. What’s your story about last Friday, please?

 

Masoud:                       The usual, just conducting literacy classes for youngsters in the Maydun district, who are slipping through the net at school.

 

Officer Bashir:              And why do you do this service? What’s your motivation?

 

Masoud:                       As I’ve said before, its to help, in my own small way, to bring progress to our beloved homeland of Iran.

 

Officer Bashir:              And what is your vision for an improved Iran, Masoud?

 

Masoud:                       An Iran where all youngsters are getting a good education, to become exemplary citizens, wanting to play their part in serving their country.

 

Officer Bashir:              And what kind of Iran do these educated youngsters want to build?

 

Masoud:                       An Iran, where all are judged on their merit, and are otherwise equal before the law, with the same rights as anyone else.

 

Officer Bashir:              And what about those elements that seek to undermine Islam? Are they to be treated equally?

 

Masoud:                       And what elements are those, Officer Bashir?

 

Officer Bashir:              You know perfectly well. Those elements that seek to undermine Islam.

 

Masoud:                       And who is trying to do that?

 

Officer Bashir:              You are, Masoud, by spreading seditious ideas of equality for all. Such Western ideals are incompatible with Islam.

 

Masoud:                       But Officer Bashir, Mohamed said, “Seek ye after knowledge, even if you have to go to China.” I’m just helping to promote knowledge for all, as Mohamed commanded.

 

Officer Bashir:              Enough! I know your game.

 

Masoud:                       And what game is it to promote literacy?

 

Officer Bashir:              We know that you have a hidden agenda to uproot Islam. Admit it!

 

Masoud:                       Rubbish. I believe in Muhammad and the Qur’an and you know it.

 

Officer Bashir:              Yes, but do you believe in the honoured clergy who promote His Holy Faith. You don’t, do you?

 

Masoud:                       If the clergy are against universal education, no I don’t, but then Mohammad is for it, and I’m for Mohammad, not the clergy. Is THAT against Isalm?

 

Officer Bashir:              You insolent wretch! How dare you speak to me like that. You know I could have you thrown into Evin with the click of my finger. Is that what you want?

 

Masoud:                       I only want to tell the truth. If that results in Evin, so be it. At least my conscience is clear.

 

Officer Bashir:              Are you suggesting my conscience isn’t clear, when I’m upholding the law of The Islamic Republic of Iran?

 

Masoud:                       If the cap fits, wear it. I’m the one promoting education for the poor and carrying out Mohammad’s commandments to seek knowledge. What are you doing but exercising tyranny? You do as you like. In Evin I’ll still be able to sleep at night. How well do you sleep, Officer Bashir?

 

Officer Bashir:              Guard, take him away. He’s irredeemable and a threat to the security of the state.

 

Masoud:                       (to himself) Ya Baha’ul-Abha! Ya Sahib u Zaman!

 

Officer Bashir:              What was that?

 

Masoud:                       Oh, Allah’u’Akbar! Officer Bashir, Allah’u’Akbar! There is no God but God and Muhammad is His Prophet, peace be upon Him. I’ll pray for you!

 

Officer Bashir:              (shouting) Take him away! And throw away the key!

1061) Published: Poem: The Price of Health October 26, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Poem.
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Typed and written 17:00, Monday, 26th October 2009 CE
.
1061) The Price of Health
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According to Maslow
his hierarchy of needs
and hence of mankind
is that physical survival comes first
and spirituality comes last,
unlike the advice of Jesus Himself
who said, “Seek the Kingdom
and its righteousness
and the rest
shall be added unto you”,
so, I myself, taking Jesus seriously
and finding physical existence atrociously disagreeable
sought FIRST, The Kingdom of God
even though there was no indication
that I would ever find it
and lo and behold
4 years later, I found Baha’u’llah in 1974;
then I had to spend the next 30 years
trying to wrest back into my control
from being kidnapped by the NHS
my health
and in the last 3 years
thanks to orthomolecular medicine
I have;
but at what cost?
I still have The Kingdom
though am persona non grata
to its inhabitants,
I have no wealth, or prospect of wealth
no reputation or standing
either in The Kingdom
or society,
no relationships or family,
no enjoyment of life
after spending 30 years
in emotional and intellectual suspended animation
and in constant negotiation and defense of myself
in the light of the NHS continually trying to dis-empower me,
so on the plus side,
I have The Kingdom
(which is virtually everything
as in the quotation on the Hofmans’ gravestone:-
“Thou hast been born of the spirit
and hast entered the Kingdom of God;
what bestowal is there greater than this?
Ever remember it”)
and my health,
and a pitifully short time left
given I am 53
in which to make amends for losing 30 years
to the pharmaceutical industry;
could be worse, I suppose.

1057) Published: Essay: Involuntary Exile October 19, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Non-Fiction Essay.
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Typed and posted 17:33, Monday, 19th October 2009 CE
Written c.14:00, Wednesday, 14th October 2009 CE

Its the evening, dark outside, in our suburban 3 up 2 down, made of ticky-tacky, like all the others in the estate. Its No12, Well Meadow Road, Shrewsbury. I’ve been collared for a “talk” with Dad, with Mum in attendance, sitting on the metaphorical fence, the kitchen bathed in bland, colourless light and sporting unadorned gray walls of more blandness.

That summer, Thunderbirds had expired in a finale which was a blaze of glory, with Mum taking me to the Empire cinema in Mardol to see this piece de resistance of the series, a feature film about the first men on Mars needing rescuing from sabotage on their return to Earth. With this film, I had formulated my life’s work, declared in my interview with my prospective headmaster, Revd “Joe” Roberts, of being the first man on Mars in 1986. And after Thunderbirds had come to an end, what did the future hold? It was announced on ATV that it was to be “Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons” and the Martians were NOT our friends. I wanted to know more and I anticipated this new creation of Gerry Anderson with great excitement.

In the bland kitchen, Dad had a very different agenda. He wanted me to have a good education, no longer held back in childishness by my younger siblings, Christine and David. Would I like to go to boarding school to get a great education? But would I be able to pursue Gerry Anderson’s agenda and learn about Mars? Dad was contemptuous and withering with disdain about my crass stupidity and lack opf appreciation. He never did have any clue about me.

The family car, full, having driven from Shrewsbury, 20 miles away to Newport, Shropshire, though maybe 3 miles outside Newport, in secluded countryside, we arrived at this ex-WW1 hospital of a country mansion, complete with pillared portico, called Longford Hall. I’d seen it once before, to give it a once over, in the summer. Now, in the evening, it was being launched as the school’s latest brand new acquisition, replacing the smaller Aston Hall, which was to be demolished. Longford Hall, as bare and unadorned as a hospital, though with internal yellow walls, was a confusing labyrinth of long staircases, corridors and nooks and crannies that I’d have 3 years of 3 terms each to explore. The place was full of 11 to 13 year old boys in their most formative years, being dropped off by their parents for the beginning of another academic year. My parents found a  member of staff, perhaps with a list of names, and asked where I was to go to find my dormitory. “What name?” “Baldwin” “Oh, let’s see. Oh, here it is. It’s this way.” But the member of staff had mistaken Baldwin for Waldron and we found ourselves in the wrong dorm. When the mistake had been put right, I found my home for the year in Dorm 1, in the front, on the 1st floor, overlooking the green lawn in front of the portico, and in the distance Lilleshall Hill, and on the horizon, the Telford New Town, and further to the right, a forest of green trees to be explored, climbed, and in the midst of which to sunbathe, in the height of next summer.

1056) Published: Poem: For Integration go to Room 60 October 16, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Poem.
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Typed and written 14:53, Friday, 16th October 2009 CE
.
1056) For Integration go to Room 60
.
I once dreamed I was in the entrance hall
of an institution of further education
looking for information
about in which room by class would be held
and on a cylindrical pillar
I found the notice,
“For “Integration” go to room 60, not room 16″
and when I awoke
I surmised that 60 and 16
respectively
referred to 1260 AH,
the year the Baha’i Faith was born
in 1844 AD,
referred to, by the mystics of the time,
“the year 60”,
and the 16th November 1955
when I was born,
so for integrating my fractured personality,
I was to get stuck in to the Baha’i Revelation
and not so much with my individual identity,
and I have found over the years
that the Baha’i spiritual exercises
which are prescribed by His Faith
for daily, regular and consistent use
have always enabled me to be more integrated
and now, with a daily regime
of reciting “Allah’u’Abha 95 times,
reciting an Ob ligatory Prayer
reading from The Writings, morning and evening
and often other prayers
like The Tablet of Ahmad,
The Tablet of Visitation of ‘Abdu’l-Baha
The Fire Tablet,
the campaign prayer for the currant IPG
US 2002 prayer on pages 90 to 92 for the UK
a daily prayer from The Tablets of the Divine Plan
a Section from a Ruhi book
and ending with bringing myself to account each day
and writing some notes
on my Direct and Indirect Teaching Encopunters
has, is and will enhance my spiritual life immensely
and has, is and will facilitate my integration
into a whole person
no longer split into an emotional 3 year old
vying in control of myself with a 53 year old intellect
those meotions and that identity
now being comfortably incorporated
into my present, adult self
in the current real world
confident, calm, relaxed, and united within myself.

1055) Published: Poem: Firm Faith Revisited October 7, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Poem.
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Typed and posted 17:14, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
Written c.13:45, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
.
1055) Firm Faith Revisited

“59 Were I to recount all the verses that have been revealed in connection with this exalted theme, it would weary the reader and divert Us from Our purpose. The following verse shall therefore suffice Us; may thine eyes be solaced therewith, and mayest thou attain unto that which hath been treasured and concealed therein: “It is God who hath reared the heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then mounted His throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each travelleth to its appointed goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh His signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in the presence of your Lord.” [Qur’an, 13:2]

60 Ponder then, O My friend, the words “firm faith” that have been mentioned in this verse. It saith that the heavens and the earth, the throne, the sun and the moon, all have been created to the end that His servants may have unswerving faith in His presence in His days. By the righteousness of God! Contemplate, O My brother, the greatness of this station, and behold the condition of the people in these days, fleeing from the Countenance of God and His Beauty “as though they were affrighted asses”. [Qur’an, 74:50] Wert thou to reflect upon that which We have revealed unto thee, thou wouldst undoubtedly grasp Our purpose in this utterance and discover that which We have desired to impart unto thee within this paradise. Perchance thine eyes may rejoice in beholding it, thine ears take delight in hearing that which is recited therein, thy soul be enthralled by recognizing it, thy heart illumined by comprehending it, and thy spirit gladdened by the fragrant breezes that waft therefrom. Haply thou mayest attain unto the pinnacle of divine grace and abide within the Ridvan of transcendent holiness.

(Baha’u’llah, “Gems of Divine Mysteries” (2002), pages 43 to 44)

When I have time to sit and stare
at my desk at home
gazing through my double-glazed bay window
facing south
through the trees
I can see the Moon
moving from right to left
slowly, day by day
as it, daily traverses the sky
from left to right
through the earthly day
as the earth revolves right to left
and the Moon
high or low in the sky
depending on the seasons
that luminous disc of milky white
sometimes full, more often gibbous
occasionally spied a crescent
in the morning or evening
accompanying the sunrise or sunset
that milky, splodged disc of white
hanging there
in the sky
not held up by strings
OR resting on a pillar
just hanging there without support
as it circles slowly around Earth
as it traverses left to right
over several hours
and each day moving from right to left
over a month
now leaving Jupiter behind
as a bright, intrusive, brilliant light
to be itself, gradually, more slowly overtaken
in its turn by the Sun
traversing left to right
over a whole year
as Jupiter gradually approaches
and is lost in the approaching sunset
to emerge weeks and weeks later
in the morning sky
rising BEFORE the Sun.
.
I gaze at these movements
of Moon, Sun and Jupiter
and without strings or pillars
and contemplate the mathematics and poetic beauty
of celestial mechanics
and behind my veil of arboreal foliage
in my room
at my desk and laptop
in my bay window
staring and contemplating
with the leaves of the trees
sometimes swaying in the breeze
bringing me back down from the heavens
to planet Earth
with its DNA based lifeforms
trees, cats, people:-
.
“Mercury nothing
Venus nothing
Earth, humous, fridge magnets, Spandau Ballet
anything you like!”

1054) Published: Poem: Don’t hit me, I’m only 4! October 7, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Poem.
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Typed and posted 16:54, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
Written c.13:30, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
.
1054) Don’t hit me, I’m only 4!
.
A lane or alley-way
bordered in part by a sandstone wall
went from Copthorne Road
to a suburban street
with the entrance to Woodfield Infants’ School
part of the way along.
I was oblivious
on my first day
in my shorts
of what was happening.
My mum wept
but I didn’t notice
as I stood there in a dream
and my mum waved goodbye
and left.
I didn’t talk to anyone
and found myself cajoled by teachers at break
to leave the safe security of the school building
where I felt calm though alone
to enter the alien world
of the playground:-
children shrieking at full pelt
rushing around manically at top speed.
I wondered why there were seagulls overhead
and surmised that in Shrewsbury
so far from the sea
the seagulls had mistaken the blue hue of the sky
for that sea, so far away;
I sat on the edge of the playground
on a curb
and found a pale metallic green Matchbox Toy
an Aston martin DB3, No 53
later replaced by Matchbox
with a maroon Mercedes-Benz saloon.
I wandered away
and later returned to pocket it
but it had disappeared.
Paul Edwards seemed to be intimidating me,
about to hit me;
I defended myself pathetically with weak words,
“Don’t hit me,
I’m only 4!”
The playground seemed like a jungle
full of ravenous beasts
and my stance was to remain aloof, uninvolved, separate
and nothing to do with these wilds animals
and just contemplate the blue sky
punctuated by white clouds
and remain alone.

1053) Published: Essay: A Real Distopia October 7, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Non-Fiction Essay.
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Typed and posted 16:20, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
Written 13:18, Wednesday, 7th October 2009 CE
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1053) A Real Distopia

It had been a difficult century, a bit like its predecessor. The 2oth had started with guarded optimism, which was then destroyed in a series of set-backs unparalleled in Earth’s history:- two world wars, the cold war and the beginnings of the war on terror, the atheistic genocides of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao, the breakdown of all moral standards and the institutions of marriage and family, the decline and impotence of established religions, all punctuated by the bread and circuses of intermittent south sea bubbles, like the roaring twenties, “you’ve never had it so good”, the property boom and the dot com boom. The 21st century had been just as bad with international world war and brutal dictatorships replaced as the bete noir of mankind by terrorism and the degradation of the environment. Civil rights and democracy had been annihilated by the war on terror in the interests of security. The west and east coasts of the United States had been devastated respectively by the long-anticipated “Big One”, a massive earthquake, and by a tsunami caused by the collapse of a volcanic island in the Canaries. All the breadbaskets of the world had become exhausted by factory farming, North America, the Punjab, the sea-stocks around Africa. All this had resulted in the United States becoming the biggest, most turbulent storm centre in the world, even outstripping the Middle East in its violence. An expected third world war between, on the one hand, North America, Europe and Russia, and on the other China, Islam and the underdeveloped nations had dissolved into the anarchy and chaos of a world civil war, with the authorities in every country losing control of the masses as a result of the collapse of the global economic system, with law and order breaking down in a universal convulsion, as if the lack of government in Somalia in the late 20th had been expanded world-wide. Most cities had been made uninhabitable by the flooding caused by global warming, and now the only areas offering a glimmer of hope for prosperity in the future were the former tundras of Canada and Russia. These areas, were now temperate, whereas most tropical areas were now so hot as to have become, like most urban centres, uninhabitable. The death toll had been immense, reminiscent of Matthew Chapter 24, and The Book of Revelations. All that was left by 2100 of the former Western Civilization were small, localised communities, self-sufficient, ecologically-minded, and replete with co-operation and responsibility.They had taken the law into their own hands, in the absence of central government, and were now organising themselves to be the bed-rock, the basic, incipient foundations of a new world civilization. It was a bit like the remnants of the Roman Empire in Italy, picking itself up and starting again after the sack of Rome by the barbarians and then finding the new religion of Jesus Christ as the foundation of building a new world. And what was the new, incipient religion of the 21st, constituting the foundation of a new civilization, initially clustered around the material prosperity of Canada and Russia? Why, it was the Baha’i Faith which started in Victorian times in 1844, nearly 2000 years after a previous revelation of Jesus Christ had revolutionised The Roman world.

1052) An Irascible Warrior with an Axe to Grind October 5, 2009

Posted by pete1844 in Poem.
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Typed and written 17:52, Monday, 5th October 2009 CE
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1052) An Irascible Warrior with an Axe to Grind
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There IS a tendency
to become a warrior
intent on  combating an almost invincible foe
and if there is none
I’ll imagine one
so the bee in my bonnet
at the moment
real or imagined
is the pharmaceutical industry
my bete noir for 2009;
I have noticed
that its easy for my mind
to get feverish over an issue
a hobby horse
that exercises my mind
and becomes a veritable juicy chewy bone
in the jaws of a British Bulldog
with The Dunkirk Spirit;
so let The anxious embattled Postee
listen to the sexy Cadbury’s Caramel bunny,
“Take it easy, Mr Postee,
keep calm, slow down, and relax”
and don’t get in a tizzy
with your knickers in a twist.
Don’t worry, be happy
and rely on Him, Baha’u’llah.

23. O thou who dost search after truth! Thy letter of 13 December 1920 hath come.

From the days of Adam until today, the religions of God have been made manifest, one following the other, and each one of them fulfilled its due function, revived mankind, and provided education and enlightenment. They freed the people from the darkness of the world of nature and ushered them into the brightness of the Kingdom. As each succeeding Faith and Law became revealed it remained for some centuries a richly fruitful tree and to it was committed the happiness of humankind. However, as the centuries rolled by, it aged, it flourished no more and put  52  forth no fruit, wherefore was it then made young again.

The religion of God is one religion, but it must ever be renewed. Moses, for example, was sent forth to man and He established a Law, and the Children of Israel, through that Mosaic Law, were delivered out of their ignorance and came into the light; they were lifted up from their abjectness and attained to a glory that fadeth not. Still, as the long years wore on, that radiance passed by, that splendour set, that bright day turned to night; and once that night grew triply dark, the star of the Messiah dawned, so that again a glory lit the world.

Our meaning is this: the religion of God is one, and it is the educator of humankind, but still, it needs must be made new. When thou dost plant a tree, its height increaseth day by day. It putteth forth blossoms and leaves and luscious fruits. But after a long time, it doth grow old, yielding no fruitage any more. Then doth the Husbandman of Truth take up the seed from that same tree, and plant it in a pure soil; and lo, there standeth the first tree, even as it was before.

Note thou carefully that in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new. How then could such a vital power as religion — the guarantor of mankind’s great advances, the very means of attaining everlasting life, the fosterer of infinite excellence, the light of both worlds  — not be made new? This would be incompatible with the grace and loving-kindness of the Lord.

Religion, moreover, is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings  53  which constitute the very life of humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and lay the groundwork for man’s everlasting honour.

Note thou: could these fevers in the world of the mind, these fires of war and hate, of resentment and malice among the nations, this aggression of peoples against peoples, which have destroyed the tranquillity of the whole world ever be made to abate, except through the living waters of the teachings of God? No, never!

And this is clear: a power above and beyond the powers of nature must needs be brought to bear, to change this black darkness into light, and these hatreds and resentments, grudges and spites, these endless wrangles and wars, into fellowship and love amongst all the peoples of the earth. This power is none other than the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the mighty inflow of the Word of God.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 52)

LXXXII. Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to  159  unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.

Whoso hath, in this Day, refused to allow the doubts and fancies of men to turn him away from Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and hath not suffered the tumult provoked by the ecclesiastical and secular authorities to deter him from recognizing His Message, such a man will be regarded by God, the Lord of all men, as one of His mighty signs, and will be numbered among them whose names have been inscribed by the Pen of the Most High in His Book. Blessed is he that hath recognized the true stature of such a soul, that hath acknowledged its station, and discovered its virtues.

Much hath been written in the books of old concerning the various stages in the development of the soul, such as concupiscence, irascibility, inspiration, benevolence, contentment, Divine good-pleasure, and the like; the Pen of the Most High, however, is disinclined to dwell upon them. Every soul that walketh humbly with its God, in this Day, and cleaveth unto Him, shall find itself invested with the honor and glory of all goodly names and stations.  160

When man is asleep, his soul can, in no wise, be said to have been inherently affected by any external object. It is not susceptible of any change in its original state or character. Any variation in its functions is to be ascribed to external causes. It is to these external influences that any variations in its environment, its understanding, and perception should be attributed.

Consider the human eye. Though it hath the faculty of perceiving all created things, yet the slightest impediment may so obstruct its vision as to deprive it of the power of discerning any object whatsoever. Magnified be the name of Him Who hath created, and is the Cause of, these causes, Who hath ordained that every change and variation in the world of being be made dependent upon them. Every created thing in the whole universe is but a door leading into His knowledge, a sign of His sovereignty, a revelation of His names, a symbol of His majesty, a token of His power, a means of admittance into His straight Path….

Verily I say, the human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries. It is one of the mighty signs of the Almighty, the harbinger that proclaimeth the reality of all the worlds of God. Within it lieth concealed that which the world is now utterly incapable of apprehending. Ponder in thine heart the revelation of the Soul of God that pervadeth all His Laws, and contrast it with  161  that base and appetitive nature that hath rebelled against Him, that forbiddeth men to turn unto the Lord of Names, and impelleth them to walk after their lusts and wickedness. Such a soul hath, in truth, wandered far in the path of error…

Thou hast, moreover, asked Me concerning the state of the soul after its separation from the body. Know thou, of a truth, that if the soul of man hath walked in the ways of God, it will, assuredly, return and be gathered to the glory of the Beloved. By the righteousness of God! It shall attain a station such as no pen can depict, or tongue describe. The soul that hath remained faithful to the Cause of God, and stood unwaveringly firm in His Path shall, after his ascension, be possessed of such power that all the worlds which the Almighty hath created can benefit through him. Such a soul provideth, at the bidding of the Ideal King and Divine Educator, the pure leaven that leaveneth the world of being, and furnisheth the power through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Consider how meal needeth leaven to be leavened with. Those souls that are the symbols of detachment are the leaven of the world. Meditate on this, and be of the thankful.

In several of Our Tablets We have referred to this theme, and have set forth the various stages in the development of the soul. Verily I say, the human soul is exalted above all egress and regress. It is still, and yet it soareth; it moveth, and yet it is still. It is, in  162  itself, a testimony that beareth witness to the existence of a world that is contingent, as well as to the reality of a world that hath neither beginning nor end. Behold how the dream thou hast dreamed is, after the lapse of many years, re-enacted before thine eyes. Consider how strange is the mystery of the world that appeareth to thee in thy dream. Ponder in thine heart upon the unsearchable wisdom of God, and meditate on its manifold revelations….

Witness the wondrous evidences of God’s handiwork, and reflect upon its range and character. He Who is the Seal of the Prophets hath said: “Increase my wonder and amazement at Thee, O God!”

As to thy question whether the physical world is subject to any limitations, know thou that the comprehension of this matter dependeth upon the observer himself. In one sense, it is limited; in another, it is exalted beyond all limitations. The one true God hath everlastingly existed, and will everlastingly continue to exist. His creation, likewise, hath had no beginning, and will have no end. All that is created, however, is preceded by a cause. This fact, in itself, establisheth, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the unity of the Creator.

Thou hast, moreover, asked Me concerning the nature of the celestial spheres. To comprehend their nature, it would be necessary to inquire into the meaning of the allusions that have been made in the Books of old to the celestial spheres and the heavens,  163  and to discover the character of their relationship to this physical world, and the influence which they exert upon it. Every heart is filled with wonder at so bewildering a theme, and every mind is perplexed by its mystery. God, alone, can fathom its import. The learned men, that have fixed at several thousand years the life of this earth, have failed, throughout the long period of their observation, to consider either the number or the age of the other planets. Consider, moreover, the manifold divergencies that have resulted from the theories propounded by these men. Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute.

O thou that hast fixed thine eyes upon My countenance! The Day Spring of Glory hath, in this Day, manifested its radiance, and the Voice of the Most High is calling. We have formerly uttered these words: “This is not the day for any man to question his Lord. It behoveth whosoever hath hearkened to the Call of God, as voiced by Him Who is the Day Spring of Glory, to arise and cry out: ‘Here am I, here am I, O Lord of all Names; here am I, here am I, O Maker of the heavens! I testify that, through Thy Revelation, the things hidden in the Books of God have been revealed, and that whatsoever hath been recorded by Thy Messengers in the sacred Scriptures hath been fulfilled.'”  164

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 158)

O Supreme Pontiff! Incline thine ear unto that which the Fashioner of mouldering bones counselleth thee, as voiced by Him Who is His Most Great Name. Sell all the embellished ornaments thou dost possess, and expend them in the path of God, Who causeth the night to return upon the day, and the day to return upon the night. Abandon thy kingdom unto the kings, and emerge from thy habitation, with thy face set towards the Kingdom, and, detached from the world, then speak forth the praises of thy Lord betwixt earth and heaven. Thus hath bidden thee He Who is the Possessor of Names, on the part of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Knowing. Exhort thou the kings and say: ‘Deal equitably with men. Beware lest ye transgress the bounds fixed in the Book.’ This indeed becometh thee. Beware lest thou appropriate unto thyself the things of the world and the riches thereof. Leave them unto such as desire them, and cleave unto that which hath been enjoined upon thee by Him Who is the Lord of creation. Should any one offer thee all the treasures of the earth, refuse to even glance upon them. Be as thy Lord hath been. Thus hath the Tongue of Revelation spoken that which God hath made the ornament of the book of creation… Should the inebriation of the wine of My verses seize thee, and thou determinest to present thyself before the throne of thy Lord,  86  the Creator of earth and heaven, make My love thy vesture and thy shield remembrance of Me, and thy provision reliance upon God, the Revealer of all power… Verily, the day of ingathering is come, and all things have been separated from each other. He hath stored away that which He chose in the vessels of justice, and cast into fire that which befitteth it. Thus hath it been decreed by your Lord, the Mighty, the Loving, in this promised Day. He, verily, ordaineth what He pleaseth. There is none other God save He, the Almighty, the All-Compelling.  87

(Baha’u’llah, The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 85)