Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Baha’i

Blog Post as Memoir. . .


Broken but Useful

a Poetic Odyssey for the Peoples of the World

by

Alexander M Zoltai

A Project of B. I. D. E.

Benevolence In Dharmic Exploration

~~~~~~~~~

 

I’ve Escaped and found a way to Help…

to Help… somewhat

 

Between Escape and Help,

a long span of time;

and, it wasn’t always nice…

 

I’ll attempt an elaboration…

………

It began in a regular old state in a country not aware it was decaying…

“It” was my birth; and, I think my first cry signaled that the

War had begun…

 

So, also, begins the movie of my life; and, if the

Editor seems frail and puts That before This,

Bear with the story—

the actors are real, though flawed—

the scenes are true, though, at times, full of unrealities…

 

Unrealities in these troubled times…

 

And, while I’ll now relate to you what I grew up through,

there will be a eulogy for the future;

though, the past will have its say;

and, some judgements and remedies will be offered…

 

And, while I ponder in words about what has occurred and will happen,

Do, please, remember, there is really no “Them”, just Us…

 

One last idea before I sail the sea of story…

There is a primal Oneness that surrounds you; and,

perhaps you will allow it to embrace you…

 

A large part of my tale is how I failed, for so long,

yet regained,  somewhat,

that sense of Oneness…

 

So…

 

My life began with many moves—

city to city with few memories retained; but,

much of that memory was mined with later

conceptual digging—

If this, then that…

 

If I was overbearing,

Then at least one of my parents helped me learn it—

If I hated my father for my first thirty years, for the way he treated my mother,

Then I didn’t realize my mother, for all that time, must have bought into his verbal abusing—

If I wandered so often, covering much territory, becoming, often, homeless,

Then I must have felt quite unmoored in my youngest home life…

 

The earliest pressures can have the longest pains.

The mistakes of parents can harm for years.

My heart is still bearing such things…

 

The things that nearly engulfed my soul

seem legion beyond surcease—

There is but one way they’re gone for good,

A grace from regions Beyond…

 

And, I must pause my dealings with the past

to deal with where this odyssey heads…

 

No doubt I was born into and developed in a quaking world—

no doubt it will continue shuddering, ‘till it releases,

through pain and ordeal, its new Self—and,

I’ve felt, so deeply, this long travail,

this extended birth through pain

of humanity’s destined maturity—

so hazardous, this path, for any sensitive soul…

 

Back to the harrowing times of my youth—

a dogmatically fervent father,

a strong but obsequious mother,

two older sisters—all so far from my inner World…

So much of that time is blank—extended family orbiting my own,

yet all far distant and forgotten…

 

Memory enlivens in the high school years…

My first love…

My first fight with a woman…

My first running away from life…

My most toxic instance of burying embarrassment…

 

Apart from the love leading to embarrassment,

I remember high school being the time

of beginning to hate the

procedure of education; though,

I’ve never stopped learning on my own.

I swiftly became an educated maverick…

 

College?

Started…

Had my head smashed against a brick wall—

perfect excuse to leave college behind…

 

Soon realized I was headed for a major clash with society and

was weak enough to still believe my success in life demanded

adherence to social norms—while realizing I had no chance of

adhering by myself,

I joined the Navy,

to be forced to adhere—

four interesting years…

Vietnam for one of them…

 

Return to San Francisco in time for the

Summer of Love

and

the beginning of a forty-five year binge on pot and beer…

 

Naturally, memory, in the main, fails

except for certain landmarks:

 

First time of being critically broken—

being banished from my daughter’s life…

Broken; but, instantly wiser about my being

an addicted social outcast…

 

Second time of being critically broken—

Mother’s death…

Followed within a few years by

oldest sister’s death…

Followed within a few years by

Dad’s death…

 

It could be said I’d been not only broken; but,

shattered, crushed, and ground to dust…

 

I believe I was all of 40 years old; but,

the constant pot and beer took a massive toll on memory—

this part of my life’s movie may have some mistakes in timing—

yet, what I’ve mentioned happened—

in some order of its own…

 

Still, I can date something precisely at 42—

The beginning of the Escape…

 

I’d thought before the Navy I needed

severe discipline to tow Society’s line—

I now knew I needed to adhere to a much

Higher Code than society could offer—not

a maverick life—more a life

apart—a life dedicated to

Eternity…

 

I found a Faith—

I call it an Escape—

an Escape that still demands

constant Adherence to

a way of living the prevailing culture

abhors…

 

Yet…

The Escape that

demands Adherence also

demands an awareness that

all Faiths are One—

while most believers still want to fight each other—

while most of the western world shuns any Faith—

while the majority of humanity are

closer, in their simple, grounded beliefs to

True Faith…

 

Seem confusing…?

 

Understandable,

what with all the contentions swirling while

humanity experiences the

Travail of Rebirth—

entrance to the new Age—

Unity…

 

Still…

The Spring of Unity

demands the Winter of the

dissolution of what the

Rulers and Financiers deem

Standard Operating Procedure—

Procedure that rapes the earth—

that destroys trust—

that breeds contempt—

that will eliminate current

Givens and

give

new

Life

 

 

Seem confusing…?

For most, it is confusing…

How can what seems to have always been

become so seemingly suddenly utterly outmoded?

 

One simple act can unwrap the religious confusion that permits such human suffering—

a humble appraisal of the actual Teachings of the Prophets—

Not the beliefs of the believers—

the actual Teachings bear witness to a fundamental

Unity…

 

I force no claims—

I demand no agreement—

I only state the State I’ve discovered—

existing above yet within us all…

 

Yet…

I struggle…

Have for thirty years…

Accumulated dross seems solidified—

Karma reeks of retribution—

Mistakes of the past call for repentance…

 

Was that shot in the arm, from a needle wiped by

the bloody rag used on the guy in line ahead of me—all of us being prepped for

Vietnam—could that simple swipe have been the infecting that

grew for so many years?

 

Backing up a bit…

 

The early years of struggling for my Faith led to

radical resistance by my ego,

which led to attempted suicide.

 

Went to a psychologist—

Blood was taken—

Diagnosis delivered—

Hepatitis C…

 

A deadly disease shook me out of a desire to kill myself…

 

Stranger things have happened.

 

Eleven months of sledgehammer medicine…

They said I was “cleared”; a cure not possible…

 

Mind and emotions still vied for a basis of understanding—

the Solution was very clear—

applying it is still problematic,

not to be wondered at in this world of ours—

Fraught with vexations,

full of troubles,

frantic with worries—

rulers dismantling justice and fairness,

corporations acting like rulers,

both fouling our Earthly nest…

 

Our current world is like a badly written

horror-crime novel…

The antagonists of the book are those

financiers I mentioned and

the rulers those money-folk control.

 

Justice has wilted and fairness been crippled and love become a street-walker…

 

A Short Laundry List of Crimes Against Humanity:

* Corporate takeover of peoples’ lands that pollutes those lands.

* Materialists controlling economies, polluting peoples’ hearts with consumerism.

* Rulers claiming exclusive sovereignty and imperiling their peoples’ well-being.

* Companies creating toxic products.

* Advertisers making false claims.

* Doctors in bed with Big Pharma.

* Clergy encouraging contention.

* Education that isn’t…

* Sham democracies brewing materialistic “Rights”,

turning “liberated” individuals into warring camps of protestation—

freedom of speech being so misused it’s ashamed of what it’s saying…

* Countries causing or funding wars in other countries,

then refusing entry to the innocent folks trying to flee

and encouraging radicals to hassle and kill the refugees…

 

Just a few of the reapings of the multinational-greed-dealers

 

Just a few of the factors that will demolish the old Order,

be the Winter preceding the blessed Spring…

 

So…

There’s a new Order…?

 

Yes.

There are people, around the Globe, building the foundations of this

New Order of Unity—

this Equality of All—

this Oneness of Humanity.

 

And…

Since my Escape some thirty years ago,

I’ve been attempting to master my particular way to Help.

To Help… somewhat

 

I’ve written a novel,

Nearly one hundred fifty short stories,

A fable,

A book of poems, and

blogged for nearly eight years straight—providing aid and assistance to other writers…

 

All of that took nineteen years,

all of that just a bit of Help for our ailing humanity…

 

How could it help…?

By portraying Principles in Action—

an animated representation of Ethics—

Morals contrasted with Immorality—

Stories, Poems, Articles that have

reached eighty countries and territories—

Global Effort that’s still just a bit of Help…

 

All the while, I’ve struggled to live up to my Faith—

struggled against the inertia of the old Order—

nearly sucked down into the materialistic morass—

stumbled over my own virtues, kept walking on

bloody knees—

striven toward

transcendence of self…

 

I still pray, will always pray for aid and assistance…

 

I pray all the words I’ve written,

here and elsewhere,

have helped—somewhat

 

All of these ups and downs and ins and outs and damage and repair

led me to writing this Poetic Odyssey…

 

Led me to say:

May all your tribulations be slight—

May you live to see a slightly better World—

May your children thrive…

 

I leave you with a small bit of advice:

In

You

is the strength you seek elsewhere

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

 

Many Folk Call Today Christmas


I suppose I can say Merry Christmas today; but, what about all the people who are Muslim or Jewish or Zoroastrian or Hindu or Pagan or Bahá’í or other Faiths…?

Holidays

Children Enjoying A Holiday

So, here are the etymologies for “Christmas” and “Holiday”:

Old English, Crīstes mæsse, the mass of Christ.

Old English, hāliġdæġ, late Old English hālidæġ, found beside hāliġ dæġ, holy day.

And, I suppose I should also share the etymology for “Mass” and “Christ”:

late Middle English : from Old French masse , from Latin massa , from Greek maza, barley cake, perhaps related to massein, knead.

Old English Crīst, from Latin Christus, from Greek Khristos, noun use of an adjective meaning anointed, from khriein anoint.

So, perhaps those non-Christians reading this can work out some fundamental meaning from those…?

Perhaps I’d come closer to the Truth if I could share some ideas that might help folks tie together the meanings behind all the Holy Days…

I found an editorial in the Toronto Sun (in Canada) called, On the Universal Message of Christmas.

It begins with these words:

“In a world that tests our faith, the meaning of Christmas can elude us.

“Not just because of the commercialism that surrounds it today, but because of so many questions that spring to our minds.

“What about those who are not of the Christian faith?

“What about those who do not believe in God?

“What about the terrorism, murders and other horrors committed in the name of religion, from ancient times to the present day.?

“What universal message is there in Christmas…?”

The editorial answers the question of the message with:

“It comes in the teachings of all the world’s great religions, when we listen to that divine spark within ourselves that desires peace and good will for all of humanity, regardless of what God we believe in or whether we believe in God.”

Then, it shares a message that could fulfill that search for universality, in many Faiths:

Christianity: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.”

Islam: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”

Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”

Buddhism: “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

Confucianism: “One word sums up the basis of all good conduct … kindness … do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”

Sikhism: “I am a stranger to no one and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.”

Bahá’í: “Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone, the things that you would not desire for yourself.”

If you’re the kind of person who ponders these things, I recommend reading the entire editorial…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Writing about What You Don’t Know . . .


Some of the regular visitors to this blog know I’m a Bahá’í… 

Yet, even though both my parents were Christian ministers, I’m not prone to preaching ( though, I have been known to step up on a soapbox from time to time :-)

So…

There’s a WebSite called BahaiTeachings.Org where many of the Faith’s principles are given practical explanations—applied to some of the knottiest and thorny problems of our Age…

Lo and behold, three days ago, I spotted an article on that site related directly to Writing…

The title is, Why I Write about What I Don’t Know.

An excerpt:

“As a recently published novelist, I wondered before publication if a photograph of my black face should be reproduced on the book’s inside cover.

“Why? Well, I wrote a historical novel called “City of Desire” about a young white woman who, because of the severely limited options before her, chose to become a prostitute in 1830’s New York. Based on a true story, her rise and fall fascinated me, and I wanted to understand her character, her choices, and the culture that molded her. As a man, too, I wanted to understand the struggle of women to be free.”

Then, approaching very near the current hot topic of “Cultural Appropriation“, the author said:

“I heard those ‘identity police’ voices in my head: ‘How dare you? Who do think you are? How can you possibly know what it is to be a white woman? Stay in your place. Write about what you know, and only what you know. If you do otherwise, you are appropriating our space and taking from us what is legitimately and exclusively ours.’”

Then, tackling the too oft-repeated exhortation, “Write What You Know”, the author says:

“If all writers followed this admonition, then we would write only memoirs or autobiographies. Painters would paint only self-portraits. Actors would only play themselves. Instead, artists do much more, and have done so since the beginning of storytelling and artistry itself. Artists extend themselves into uncharted territory so they can imagine and empathize with others—so they can make a human connection unmitigated by the artificial barriers we erect to keep us apart.”

To find out if the author put the picture of their black face on the inside cover, and other reflections about what writers should consider, I encourage you to read the whole piece

I’ll finish this post with a quote from the article, from the Founder of my Faith, Bahá’u’lláh:

“… the true worth of artists and craftsmen should be appreciated, for they advance the affairs of mankind …. True learning is that which is conducive to the well-being of the world, not to pride and self-conceit, or to tyranny, violence and pillage.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No Work Today . . .


I won’t be doing a full blog post today in order to honor the commemoration of the Martyrdom of The Báb… Martyrdom of The Bab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien