Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"Where do you get your ideas?"

That is probably the most annoying question an author, or any artist, can be asked. I mean, come on, it's not insulting or anything, just plain silly.

I could go into the Writings at this point and pull up the various quotes regarding the development of the arts. I could talk about how Baha'u'llah says "The Sun of Truth is the Word of God", and that the light of this is "conditioned" by the mirror upon which it shines. He says that when it "manifesteth itself in the mirrors of the hearts of craftsmen, it unfoldeth new and unique arts". (Hey, I wonder if that applies to my own artwork? I never thought of that before. You can see some of it here.)

We also know, from His Writings, that it is the souls in the next world that lend their inspiration to the artists in this wold.

For myself, whenever I was asked this question in the past, I used to say that I sent a request to PO Box in Walla Walla, Washington. For $5 they would send you an idea. Now I usually tell people that I go to http://www.goodideas.com/, where they, also, will send you a good idea for a mere $10 (okay, they don't, but it is a fun web-site.)

So, if I'm not going to go into the Writings now, what am I going to do? I'm going to go into my files. As you may have noticed from some recent postings, I'm getting ready to move, and that means that I'm going through all my papers, filing some and recycling others. A few gave my son and I the joy of a bonfire last night.

A new file that I started yesterday is called "blog ideas". Over the next few months, when I'm too busy moving or just can't think of anything in particular, I'll just pull one out of there.

Today (I'm too busy packing and getting ready to show our house to be more original), I'm going to toss off a few trivia questions that I used to give at summer schools. I originally gave them to the youth, but soon discovered that they were way too tough for the youth. So then I gave them to the adults, but they were way too tough for the adults. So then I just gave them for the fun of it.

I'm going to put 9 of them here today, with 3 bonus ones for fun. The answers will be posted as a comment (oh, not that I think you'd cheat, or anything, dear Reader, but just to make it easier for you to print and share with your friends).

I posted another one as a facebook status the other day and got some fun feedback on it. It was, "Which of the following is NOT a Letter of the Living: Sa-id-Hindi, Mulla Mahmud-Khu'i, Mulla Jalil-i-Urumi, or Jan-Eff-Kennedi?" I still find it culturally fascinating that one individual actually found it offensive. Thank God for diversity.

So without any further ado, here is my first round of trivia questions:

1. In the Kitab-i-Iqan (see, I even tell you where to find the answer. Isn't that nice of me?), about whom does Baha'u'llah say, "But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory"?

2. Spell the Right of God in Arabic. (It sounds something like Huh-Koo-Cue-Luh)

3. 'Abdu'l-Baha gave the name "'Abdu'l-Baha" to two people. One was Himself. Who was the other?

4. When did the Siege of the Shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi, or the Mazindaran Upheaval, take place?

5. Name the only book written by Shoghi Effendi.

6. In the message from the Universal House of Justice commonly referred to as "The Promise of World Peace", what is the first line?

7. Name the 3 people buried in the building referred to as "The Shrine of the Bab". (Extra bonus, name the2 buried in the Shrine of Baha'u'llah)

8. What are the 3 spiritual weapons named by the Guardian in The Advent of Divine Justice?

9. Name the 7 Valleys, in order.

And 3 bonus questions:

10. Name 5 Letters of the Living

11. Name 5 Hands of the Cause appointed by the Guardian.

12. Name 5 member of the Universal House of Justice.


  1. And now the answers:

    1. Mulla Husayn

    2. Huququ'llah (with uphill accents on the second 'u' and the 'a')

    3. Hand of the Cause of God, Paul Haney

    4. 19 December 1848 - 10 May 1849

    5. God Passes By (all the others were letters)

    6. To the Peoples of the World

    7. The Bab, 'Abdu'l-Baha, Anis (the young man martyred with the Bab)

    8. Rectitude of conduct, absolute chastity, and freedom from prejudice

    9. Search, Love, Knowledge, Unity, Wonderment, Contentment, and True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness.

    For the bonus ones, Google them. ;)

  2. thanks, that was fun, but who was the second person buried in the Shrine of Baha'u'llah.

  3. "'Udi Khammar died in 1879 and was buried by the wall of his mansion."

    (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 362)

    This may be my mistake. I thought he was actually buried in the same building as the Shrine, in a room just off the main room, but it may not be the case. Oops. I'll try to verify.