Monday, December 19, 2011

It's All About Me

As some of you have noticed, there is a new reader / writer here. One of the commenters: Me.

No, not me. Me.

(If I keep this up, it's going to sound like an Abbott and Costello routine.)

Aside: When I was in China, my host brought me to a very high and dignified Singapore Day celebration. (I mean, really high and dignified, like Embassy-type high and dignified.) The entertainment during this time was absolutely incredible to watch. I was amazingly impressed by the quality of it all. One of the things that stood out the most was what my host told me was called "double talk". This is a form of comedy that is only possible in tonal languages. He explained to me that what was happening was that the two people were speaking to each other, but responding as if the words were spoken in a different tone. You see, Mandarin has four tones. You can say "Ni hao", and that means hi. If you say it on a different tone, "Ni hao", then you confuse the person by implying that they might somehow be a red horse. In this comedy form, the two people have a conversation but continue it along by responding as if the person has used a different tone. Make sense? It's evidently quite hilarious, and extremely difficult to do. My host said that "Who's on First" was akin to the simplest form of this.

But that's not what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to mention a comment that was recently written, and copy it here. (I got permission form the writer, Me.) (No. Not me. Me.)

You see, he seemed to capture in words something that I've tried to say for a long time, but haven't quite gotten across. He was able to put it into the words that I had longed to use.

I had posted a link to an article from a Christian about the importance of showing love to everyone, especially those who believe differently from you. It was a very beautiful article, and I loved it so much, I had to share it. His comment was in response to this article.

He said:

Thanks for sharing this article. It certainly made me appreciate the complexities of life and that Love can overcome these challenges. At times, I too have been guilty of many things this author speaks about. Perhaps this is why I left religion. At the same time I have never felt so lost. Only after years of reflection have I seen a change in my perspective and a fundamental.

I think I have misunderstood what you have been saying about your own belief. You have been talking about Mead and what is best for him while embracing others regardless of their station in life. Also, it makes me realize that my anger toward religiousity is misguided. My conflict is not with the faiths, but with those who lack love.

Thank you. I believe I will try again and instead of adopting an obtuse view within my chosen religion, I'll pick it because it works for me while not concerning myself with anything but Love.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I was touched by this beautiful note.

My response, which my wife said I should post here, too was this:
Dear Me, (Hmmm. I sound like a grandmother.)

My son and I both have tears in our eyes. Thank you so much for what you have written above. You have said what I have tried to say for so long.

This blog is all about what works for me, and I make no claims on it working for anyone else. Not even other Baha'is. It is all about how I live my own faith. Not about how others should live theirs.

And you have summed up the problem so succinctly: it is all about love, not how others with the same team jacket live their lives.

One of the greatest things that 'Abdu'l-Baha ever said was that people should leave our presence with a sense of hope. I am in awe and in tears reading your last paragraph. Thank you, and thank you again. You have given me hope, and this is why I keep writing what I do.

Yeah. This blog is really all about my perspective of what works for me. The Baha'i Faith is my guide. But even then, the perspective is all about my own use of this Faith. I make no claims for anyone else, nor do I try to argue or contend with others, for when two people argue about religion, both are wrong.


  1. You said: "This blog is really all about my perspective of what works for me. The Baha'i Faith is my guide. But even then, the perspective is all about my own use of this Faith."

    It's good to know you're not a mindless zombie...

    You said "I make no claims for anyone else, nor do I try to argue or contend with others, for when two people argue about religion, both are wrong."

    Isn't that the truth. No one can say which religion is right because religions are based on faith and faith is a belief without evidence.

    Besides, Baha’u’llah said “. . . backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul.” ... you gotta shut your yap lol

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words.

    Later, Meathead

  2. It's funny, because the definition of "faith" that I use in my daily life is from 'Abdu'l-Baha: "By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds."

    It's not just a blind belief in something that has no basis on anything, but is primarily based on your actual conscious awareness, usually from experience. And then, here's the kicker, it has to put into practice.


  3. "conscious knowledge".... subjective, especially when God is put into the equation. I remember when Heaven's Gate all committed suicide because, according to their knowledge, if they left their bodies they would catch the aliens with the passing comet...

    "not just a blind belief"...have you seen God? Does he talk to you?

    When science, conscious knowledge, proves homosexuals are born, what does that do to religions that state it's wrong..."I have faith God has his reasons"...

    "good deeds"...The natives loved that when Christians came to North America...spread the gospel at no cost. "We're doing God's work".

    Anyway, thx for the chat :)

  4. Hey, I never said "conscious knowledge of God". There is far more to religion than just the belief in a God.

    As for argument that something is ok because you are born that way... Does that mean we should let people be blind, when we can help them see with mechanical means? Or that we should let a child die because they have a heart condition? Or what about the guy who is born with homicidal tendencies?

    The whole thing about homosexuality and the Baha'i Faith is that it the law is conditional upon one being Baha'i. If you're not Baha'i, it doesn't matter. If you are Baha'i, then it is a challenge that one has to face in their life, but done so with conscious knowledge. (There it is again.)

    To cross the arguments is kind of silly, but it seems that it needs to be continually repeated.

    As for the Christian / Aboriginal argument, that was a very limited look at the faith that Jesus espoused. Sure, the Christians wanted to spread the Gospel, but they forgot about love, and all sorts of other things. So again, it's a matter of looking at the holistic faith, and not just the part that can be used as an excuse for doing what you want.


    Hope that clarifies a bit.

  5. Those kind of analogies are insensitive - putting homicide in this reference offends me. Being gay isn't an illness nor a deviant behavior. Some could argue differently but I certainly say they don't understand love.

    The Bahai faith is mentioned with reference of homosexuality because they state they are for peace and equality...If they, or any faith, are going to be ambassadors to the world they have to love all people. Theocracies don't work anyway and we know religion devides people, not bring them together.

    I could get into the "good deeds" conversation but I'll leave it.

    Take care

  6. You're right, and I'm sorry for not mentioning one very important thing: what I did was take your reasoning and apply it to an extreme. It was insensitive and careless of me to do that.

    Let me rephrase what I was trying to say:

    To say that something, regardless of what it is, is acceptable because it is "natural", is not a valid argument. Now I'm not saying that I think homosexuality is either right or wrong, just that to use the "natural" argument is weak.

    I was once talking with a Unitarian minister about what he saw as his touchstone, that measuring stick by which he judged the right or wrongness of any deed. At first he said that it was based upon the commonly accepted norms of the day. I then asked if that meant it was ok to kill Jews if you were living in Germany in the 1930s, or to kill black people if you were living in the southern States in the beginning of the last century. He quickly said, "No, that's not what I meant." I agreed that it wasn't, and I knew it, but his reasoning led to that sort of abuse.

    It seems to me that when we make an argument like the one you made above, or the one this minister used, we need to be very careful and aware of the implications of what we say.

    That was all.

    And thanks for understanding what I meant, and giving me the benefit of the doubt. (I ran into "Me" on the street yesterday.) (Not with my car.)