Monday, January 3, 2011

28 December 2010, Take 6 (or take another take, take 2)

In the second paragraph, they describe for us a number of things that they have seen from their particular vantage point. (There is a reason, I think, that they are on a mountain.)

They also offer us some numbers that are truly impressive: 350,000 souls who have taken Book 1; 130,000 children's class teachers; 6x the number of animators in the past little while; 500,000 participants in study circles at any given time; 70,000 people capable of tutoring. Wow. This is impressive.

Oh, and just a little side note. Ruhiyyih Khanum once observed that the Guardian never shared numbers unless they were truly impressive. Here, in this letter, the Universal House of Justice shares some, as I said, truly impressive numbers. But it is interesting to note that the one number they don't share is the number of animators. We made an impressive sextupling of the number of animators, but we don't know how many that is. Why? I don't think it's for any other reason than that the actual number would seem small in comparison to the rest, and they don't want us to be discouraged. After all, animators are a fairly new breed. We haven't had the time to get that number up yet. But we've made a great start.

Looking at this paragraph, another thing does stand out, and that is the order in which they present all this information to us.

They begin with Book 1, which leads us to a more devotional character in our life. This, in turn, lends us to beginning more devotional gatherings, which is the next point they raise. In those devotional gatherings, we call to our aid those spiritual forces that help us in our teaching work. From there they direct our attention to the children's classes, the junior youth groups and the elevated conversations that raise a shared understanding of the needs of today and how effectively address them. Then they point out the number of people in the study circles, which often rises due to this awareness of how to address the needs of today.

Book 1 leads to more prayer, which leads to calling on the spiritual forces to help us in our teaching, which is acted out in the classes and conversations we have, which lead to more people studying and getting involved in service to humanity. This is coherence. This is one path that leads us through all the various activities.

But then, in the next few paragraphs, they point out that it is not the only path. This whole system is organic and can take shape in many different ways. What does reamin that same, however, is what it looks like at that "first of several milestones". When we reach that point, all the core activities will be well underway, and sustained by those going through the institute courses.

Once again, I'll talk more about that later. Now, later than I expected, my son is ready to go to that butterfly garden. I'll type more later, or possibly tomorrow.

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