Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ridvan 2012, Part 5

There is a word in paragraph 6 that caught my attention:  "matrix". They say that the relationship between the individual, the institutions and the community is changing, "being endowed with new warmth, new life; in aggregate, they constitute a matrix within which a world spiritual civilization, bearing the imprint of divine inspiration, gradually matures."

You may recall this word, "matrix", not from the movie of the same name, but from another quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha. "In the matrix of the mother", He says, "we were the recipients of endowments and blessings of God, yet these were as nothing compared to the powers and graces bestowed upon us after birth into this human world." "In the matrix of the mother", He says in yet another  passage, "the unborn child was deprived and unconscious of the world of material existence but after its birth it beheld the wonders and beauties of a new realm of life and being."

In other words, He uses the word matrix to denote the womb during pregnancy.

Now, let's imagine this analogy in the world around us. Right now, this very moment, the relationships between the individuals within the Baha'i community, its institutions, and the over all community as a body are serving as a matrix for this new world spiritual civilization.  We are living in a world in which the relations between these three entities are at an all-time low, as they point out in this letter. Yet, within the Baha'i community, we are finding the strength of character and integrity of spirit to foster a new relation between them. The institutions thoroughly encourage the individuals in their actions, while providing guidance to help make those actions both more coherent and more effective. The individuals, in their turn, are looking to the guidance from these same institutions with a sense of trust and admiration. We all look to the guidance from the World Centre without a second thought. And it's not that we're blind about it, but just that they have earned our trust, and have proven worthy of it. Through all of this the community is emerging even stronger than before, more focused on its work, and more effective in achieving its goals.

This is in obvious counterpoint to the society at large, in which all of these relationships have broken down to a greater and greater degree. We have never seen such global strife and conflict over these relationships as we have in the past few years.


Well, let me ask you a question that was posed to me this past weekend.

How would you feel if you were pregnant and didn't know it? (Ignoring either the fact the you may be male, or the idea of extreme obesity masking the pregnancy.) Suppose you were a normal, healthy woman, and you suddenly began the weight gain, the massive shift in hormones, and all the other things that come with it. Now imagine you began going into labour, with the blinding pain of contractions and so on and so forth.

This is where we are today.

The world is giving birth to a new civilization and everything that comes with it, and it isn't even aware that it is pregnant.

For me, as one who held my wife while she gave birth to our son, this thought is both overwhelming, and very confirming. It sure seems to explain a lot about the confusion and violence that we see today.

And all I can do is offer the divine teachings of Baha'u'llah, best expressed through the core activities, to try and help ease the process on.

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