If We're Unable to Consult, We Enable Ourselves!

Sep 2012
358
Panama
#1
We all agree that Baha'i Consultation is a precious jewel from the treasures our Creator's given us in this new age. It's simply following guidance such as http://bahai-library.com/pdf/compilations/consultation.pdf . We also agree that when it comes to the latest controversial issues somehow we're severly impaired in our attempts to consult --not just in the discourses of the greater community, but even privately w/ the friends.

Sounds we can't consult --so much for our "precious jewel" thing. Wait, we just change ourselves so we can consult.

The key is identifying what's in our way. Namely, even though we're really smart and can logically figure out all kinds of neat stuff, the vast majority of our beliefs and decisions are made unconciously and illogically. Let's face it: concious logic is slow and takes effort --we could not survive if we did all our thinking that way. We've got to make most choices unconciously w/o logic.

Here's a video that says it better:

Conscious vs. subconscious thinking

Also, even our 'brain-wiring' is not a problem because we also have the ability to review our unconscious beliefs. We can spot check and change what we needs to be corrected. That's what consultation involves.

So we can in fact, enable ourselves to join w/ others and make policy w/o the partisan polarization that cripples the world around us. We can even think together on hot-button issues. In fact, a big advantage of controversy is that it's easier to see whether we're finding common ground or whether we're just picking sides.

Example, this other video shows how difficult it is for many to interact w/ others when the focus is on differences and not commonality:

Why People Don't Believe In Climate Science

He's frustrated that he can't share w/ many people something that he's deeply concerned about. He asks for input. How can we tell him about our new way of working together?
 
Dec 2012
197
Earth
#3
Greetings Pete in Panama,

I used to keep a toucan when I lived in South America, so your avatar always brings a smile to my face.

Given the nature of some discussions posted here over the past few weeks on climate change and consultation, you might find the enclosed response from the Universal House of Justice on this subject matter helpful.

29 November 2017 – [To three individuals] | Bahá’í Reference Library

Here is hoping life is good for the “Toucan of Panama”.

Earth
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Sep 2012
358
Panama
#4
...hoping life is good for the “Toucan of Panama”.
your post sure made it more so! What happened was I wanted to show u a pic of 2cans banging on my window (we figured they were getting bugs for food out of the wood frame). Seems I had to look forever to find the foto & all I could find was the road to the house--
endrnce.jpg
--and the orchids in front of the house--
orchd.jpg
--the monkeys in the trees--
monkyed.jpg
--and finally one of the toucan:
2can.gif
whoa, what a stroll down memry lane all tx to ur comment!

tx also for the link from the House on climate. We'd gotten into the letter earlier and the experiance to me was absolutely baffling. What seemed to happen was folks either left the chat or they expressed refusal or even hostility to the idea of taking up the questions the letter suggested we consult about.

Personally mho is that we need unity on this more than ever, but we sure don't want bad feelings here to no good end. If you get a chance, pls share what passage (if any) may have spoken to you about how the friends should gather on this.
 
Jan 2012
711
China
#5
Personally mho is that we need unity on this more than ever, but we sure don't want bad feelings here to no good end. If you get a chance, pls share what passage (if any) may have spoken to you about how the friends should gather on this.
I was going to stay out of this, but in fairness to the people I see you badgering here, I've finally decided to come out with how it looks to me. Nothing I've seen you doing here looks to me like it's inspired by any understanding, or desire to understand, what "unity" and "consultation" mean in Baha'i scriptures. All I see you doing with those words is using them to try badger people into letting you badger them some more about something to do with climate change.

I might have some of the same objections you do to the propaganda about climate change, and to the behavior of Baha'is on the Internet, and I would love to have someone to talk to about what we might be able to do about that. If you would ever like to do try doing that with me, let me know.
 
Dec 2012
197
Earth
#6
Greetings Pete,

Thank you for sharing the pictures. Some memories stay with us and they always make us happy when we relive the experience. I used to travel some of the great rivers in South America, so many vivid memories are flooding back to me after your picture exposé.

I have always been fortunate in the field of consultation because no subject is ever taboo to me. With a little work any issue can be resolved providing all parties are prepared to entertain the values of courtesy and perspective.

Quite often simple issues can flare up during a forum discussion due to people either misreading or misunderstanding comments that are specifically intended for others. It is often nothing more than an innocent mistake, but it can happen to anyone. This is why I am usually quite specific to who I am responding to. That way if anyone comes between our conversation, it should be quite obvious to all readers.

With regards to global warming, the Tablets of the Divine Plan by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá makes for some interesting reading. One Tablet that I particularly like for its impact is the Tablet to the Bahá’ís of Canada and Greenland. It can be selected and read from the following link Tablets of the Divine Plan | Bahá’í Reference Library But for simplicity I will cite one passage below:

“Should the fire of the love of God be kindled in Greenland, all the ice of that country will be melted, and its cold weather become temperate—that is, if the hearts be touched with the heat of the love of God, that territory will become a divine rose garden and a heavenly paradise, and the souls, even as fruitful trees, will acquire the utmost freshness and beauty. Effort, the utmost effort, is required. Should you display an effort, so that the fragrances of God may be diffused among the Eskimos, its effect will be very great and far-reaching.”

The phraseology of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá often blends the symbolic with the literal. This is why our understanding of the Bahá'í Writings is constantly in a state of transition. While this Tablet would have been hard to believe in a literal context when it was first made public, now, around a century later, we can begin to read it with a very different insight. However, we are still faced with a dilemma. Namely is global warming actually down to the “fire of the love of God” spread by the Eskimos, or is it due to human negligence? It really depends on how people wish to view it.

Here is an extract from a talk on the Guardian by Leroy Ioas in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1958. As you like wild birds you might find it especially appealing.

"Well, another story that I will tell you that has touched me very much, that is very impressive, there was one of the pilgrims from Canada who was a member of the National Assembly, and it was the night of her departure before returning home to Canada. And she was talking to him about translating the Baha’I literature into the Eskimo language. You see, up in the north of Canada, there are lots of Eskimos. In the north of Canada, it’s snow and ice all the time. They never have the warm sunshine like you have here. It never gets warm. They never have these beautiful flowers, and they never have the beautiful birds which you have. So she asked Shoghi Effendi for permission when translating into the Eskimo language to use designations of things in the writings which were familiar to the Eskimos. For instance, she said in the writings, Baha’u’llah speaks about the nightingale and the rose. Now she said, up in the Eskimo country they don’t know what a nightingale is, and they don’t know what a rose is. So can we use the word “penguin”, for instance, or some flower, some of the ice flowers which grow in some of those northern lands. Shoghi Effendi said that when you are translating any literature about the Cause written by other than the prophets or Abdu’l-Baha, yes, you can change and use any other illustrations you want. But when you translate Baha’u’llah’s words, or Abdu’l-Baha’s words, or the Guardian’s words, you translate them exactly as they are. You can’t change anything, and you have to translate “nightingale” and “rose” for the Eskimos. Well, the next night, when the Guardian came over and was bidding her goodbye, he reached in his coat pocket again and brought out a bottle of attar of rose, a very rich oil of rose, the best, most beautiful perfume of rose that there is. And he said, I give you this attar of rose so that when you return to Canada, you can anoint the friends on my behalf and give them all my love. Then in a minute or two, he reached in his pocket and took out another bottle of attar of rose, and he says, this bottle is for the Eskimos. When you make any Eskimos Baha’is, you anoint them with this attar of rose, and give them my love, and in that way they will become acquainted with the rose of Persia."

Whenever I read this story, I cannot but help myself from thinking about the Penguin of Paradise, or dare I say it, Toucan of Paradise.

All good things.

Earth
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Sep 2012
358
Panama
#7
... used to travel some of the great rivers in South America, so many vivid memories are flooding back to me ...
tx for ur note, if u get a chance pse share how u had a toucan, were u staying in one place? For me this December marks 20 years in this end of panama after 25 w/ the canal. Somehow I'd thought the only places toucans lived was in either Panama or Fruitloops boxes but now I find they live in rainforest canopes thoughout Central and South America.
... when you translate Baha’u’llah’s words, or Abdu’l-Baha’s words, or the Guardian’s words, you translate them exactly as they are. You can’t change anything...
That's interesting to see how the translation problem affected the Inuits. Before we'd married my wife had lived w/ an indigenous people in northern Colombia where their language had one verb conjugation for a man speaking and another for women. This made translating the prayers extremely awkward, and a woman believer reading any of the relieved prayers is severly hampered. Their culture is a matriarchy, and it's be like requiring a European man to wear a woman's clothing in order to say obligatory prayers.
... is global warming actually down to the “fire of the love of God” spread by the Eskimos, or is it due to human negligence? It really depends on how people wish to view it...
Abdu’l-Baha was no stranger to science and he had to know the physical impacts of "in Greenland, all the ice of that country will be melted, and its cold weather become temperate". It's believable that he'd also heard about the medieval warm period as well the little ice age few hudred years later, although not by those names. To me it brings forcefully the substance of this passage in the 29 November 2017 letter you linked:
The question of the impact of climate change, and to what extent it is man-made and its effects can be ameliorated, is today a major aspect of this larger problem. The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh directly and indirectly touches on a range of such concerns in a manner that speaks to a harmony between society and the natural world. It is essential, therefore, that Bahá’ís contribute to thought and action regarding such matters.
To me this represents an urgent moral imperitive that we consult together on this.
...I have always been fortunate in the field of consultation because no subject is ever taboo to me. With a little work any issue can be resolved providing all parties are prepared to entertain the values of courtesy and perspective...
This is important to me so if you've got the time/energy/interest I'm willing to be flexible w/ your preferences as to mode and venue.
 

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