Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Baha’u’llah

Do I Celebrate Christmas?


I may completely lose a few of my readers today……… 

In fact, many folks who trusted me to post reasonable things might think I’m bonkers.

However

Judging from most of the mainstream media, Christmas is just the modern incarnation of some ancient ritual; or, it’s the season of festivity, happiness, and gift-giving; or, it’s a time to be with family and friends to warm-up before the cold sets in, in earnest

Of course, folks in the Southern Hemisphere are in their Summer

And, my Best Friend, in Australia, celebrated Christmas yesterday :-)

Sure, a few people know what Christmas really stands for

Actually, most people probably know but let the media steer them away from the truth.

I was raised in a Christian family—Mom and Dad were both ministers.

When I left home, I became quite non-religious

In my early forties, I discovered the Bahá’í Faith.

It taught me things about Jesus the Christ that most Christians never suspect.

It taught me that, if I celebrate the birth of Christ, I should also celebrate the birth of Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, and all the other Manifestations.

Of course, recorded history shows the tragedy of the “believers” of most Faiths treating those of a different Faith with disdain and contempt, or covering that ill-will with a mock good-will, or just harming or killing them

My Faith teaches me that all the Manifestations had the Truth and brought it to Humanity at different stages in its evolution.

Now, I’ll share the etymology of “Celebrate”:

“…from Latin celebratus ‘much-frequented; kept solemn; famous’, past participle of celebrare ‘assemble to honor’, also ‘to publish; sing praises of; practice often’, originally ‘to frequent in great numbers’, from celeber ‘frequented, populous, crowded’; with transferred senses of ‘well-attended; famous; often-repeated’.”

So, if Christmas is the birth of Jesus, I celebrate it—I celebrate the birth of every Manifestation, even the Ones I know nothing of

I celebrate the concept that there is a Manual for Living, taught by all the Manifestations—embracing Virtues like Honesty, Love, Justice, Courtesy, Joyfulness, Nobility, Truthfulness, and Gratitude.

Sure, to admit that one is religious can bring scorn, ridicule, and even death.

But, to ignore what religion really teaches (not what any given believer teaches) is, at least, as dangerous as ignoring the laws of science

That last sentence could make some think I’m rather odd, that I base my life on principles that come from people who say they have a message direct from God—yet, the Manifestations aren’t just “people”; their Lives show that and their Words support it.

That’s not easy to believe and, from my experience, interpreting any Scripture is about as easy as figuring out what the great poets write—it can be done, it usually leads to more than one interpretation, it depends on good sense and an open heart

I’ve spent 26 years as a Bahá’í and I’m still taking baby-steps; but, those steps are much better for me than the sleazy crawl and the pompous strut I used to do.

Let me share a quote from the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh.

It’s about Jesus but could apply to all the Manifestations:

“We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified… We bear witness that through the power of the Word of God every leper was cleansed, every sickness was healed, every human infirmity was banished. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”

Dear reader, if you’ve gotten this far in the post, let me repeat the caution that a true understanding of religion does not come from what the believers say.

True understanding comes from an Independent Investigation of Truth
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Some Thoughts on Holy Days . . .


Christmas is a Holy Day?

Such a shame some have forgotten

As a Bahá’í, I don’t celebrate Christmas—I honor it.

The birthday of the Founder of any Faith is worth honoring, in my humble opinion

If we can’t honor Them for for Their Teachings, we still might be able to honor the otherworldly courage They displayed, or the immense compassion They had; and, if nothing else, we can admire Them for bearing the incredible persecutions They all suffered

Naturally, many folk have permitted Business to hypnotize them into treating Christmas as a Commercial Day.

I wonder if other Faiths face this same issue?

Please, if you are of another Faith, would you share your thoughts and feelings in the Comments?

And, if you subscribe to no Faith, I’d still appreciate your Comments :-)
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“Who Says Words with My Mouth”


I want to ask you a favor

A favor you can do for yourself

I’m asking anyone reading this post; but, especially, the writers (active or potential writers)

Ponder the title of this post for a few minutes, then write down what you feel it means

………

OK, I’ll venture to say that what you wrote is a key to who you really are—beyond your body, beyond your cares, beyond the pressures of daily living

That line is from a poem by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi who lived from 1207 to 1273 in what is now Afghanistan.

The most honored translator of Rumi is Coleman Barks from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mr. Barks will read the poem that line is from in the video below.

I must quote Druzelle Cederquist, who also used the video on her blog, when she says, about Rumi, “…he asks the questions buried in our own hearts, that he digs deep but delivers with a light touch, capturing the heart with a voice that plays between humor and haunting longing. That he takes us to the threshold of answers, no further, and invites us to follow the trail he has blazed to find the answers for ourselves.”

In the blog post that quote is from, Druzelle mentions Bahá’u’lláh, Who quotes Rumi in His own mystical Writings and spent 40 years of His life in banishment and exile.

Bahá’u’lláh said:

“True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his self.”

And, again, for anyone reading this (but, especially for the writers), “Who Says Words with My Mouth” could refer to your inner Self speaking and you wondering where the words came from

So, put together Rumi’s poem, Coleman Barks voice, a movie of a street in San Francisco in the early 1900s, and music by Claude Debussy and you get a video that is a marvel of a mash-up :-) {Supreme thanks to my Best Friend for sending a link to this video in my email…}


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Fifteen Years Ago ~ A Poetic Expedition


The About Page is, usually, the second most visited place on any blog—people want to know who’s behind the words

Today I want to reveal some of my writing from fifteen years ago—major revelation of who I am

All the poems in this revelation are also in my book, Is Your Soul In Here <— for sale but also free to download :-)

Though, Is Your Soul In Here contains additional poetry of mine

The name I gave this writing is Nine Tempestuous Moons ~ The Story of A Relationship.

My poetry in this work was all about my reaction to my daughter’s mother.

The Writing I wove it into is by Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’u’lláh was banished and exiled for His Teachings and His earthly life ended in what is today Israel, in 1892:
map-ottoman-empire-large
The Words of His that I wove into my poetry are one phase of a spiritual journey He wrote called The Seven Valleys.

The poems of mine in Nine Tempestuous Moons were the spiritual result of a relationship journey I was destined to make

Perhaps this Poetic Expedition may speak to you………
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Words, Words, Words …


Words are critically important for readers, writers, and publishers.

Words are the substance of knowledge, the means of communication, and one of the most mysterious fashionings of humans.

Publishers use words as measurments, writers use words as tools, readers use words as paths to meaning and subjective experience.

My personal favorite word is “Word” :-)

“Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

~ Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 176

I won’t use very many more words in this post but will introduce the video of Deb Roy showing a remarkable method he used to capture, in image and sound, his son’s learning of words.

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