We need to consult, can we?

Sep 2012
359
Panama
#1
Several times on these threads we've begun to consult on current events, and the 'us versus them' meme we're exposed to in our daily lives either threatens our unity or ends the discussion. Meanwhile life goes on and things still happen.

We need to talk.

Our sacred guidance calls us to consult and the social ills we run into beg for our help. The good news is that our communities --both that of the friends and that of the greater world-- are maturing. Failures/problems of the past are not necessarily inevitable now.

The discourse in which we're called to participate is all around us and can (and should) appear here also. Several issues that come to my mind (climate change, income equality, migration, conflict/peace) have been addressed both in the Sacred Text and in guidance from the World Centre. We can discuss each of these topics (preferably on a separate thread per issue) in a manner many refer to as 'Baha'i consultation' --which iirc follows these steps:

►describe the problem

►get the facts

►study the guidance

►share thoughts with detachment

►pray

►act
My thinking is that this forum offers a number of advantages --for example here we think/write and don't blurt out words to regret. Disadvantages include the fact that w/ text we don't often get the wink'n'nod so necessary in human communications --tho we do have our emoticons ;).

Any thoughts on this?
 
Mar 2019
30
Senegal
#3
Hi Pete from Panama! that all sounds good to me. I think a lot of the division found in talking to people is that they have preconceived on which "side" they're on, and the talking points of their side. And deep down most people know it's not real and that we're all on the same side.

The arguments on any given social issue are usually so surface level and only used symbolically, they may point to something real, but never actually arrive at the reality.

And thus, no solutions or actions can come of this hyper reality of talking points and perceived divisions. People just repeat what they've heard and speak around the issues with things that only have any value or meaning in as far as they know others around them have heard the same things and can bounce it around back and forth, in favor or against, and nobody has any idea what they're actually talking about.

Ask anyone in a divisive or argumentative state just a few rational questions to explain exactly what they mean by that, or a specific point about the issue they aren't addressing. Usually you'll find them at a loss for words, tripping over their own tongues, or backtracking.

I don't know where to go from there though. But it's important to note I think. This mainstream culture, in the media and society in general, is not one of in depth analysis or solving of issues. It's all picking sides and using shallow reductionist talking points to maintain the cultural divisions that exist.
 
Sep 2012
359
Panama
#4
This is a response from a whatsapp group I'm in, there's a lot in it so here's the first part w/ a link:

There is nothing more inspirational or powerful than the Word. Teaching is aways a good place to start with consultation as being involved in teaching (the greatest gift) gives renewed energy and hope.

Blessed is he who redeemed himself in My path and suffered tribulations for My name! (Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 129)

Bahá'u'lláh has enjoined upon the Bahá'ís the sacred obligation of teaching. (Compilations, The Individual and Teaching - Raising the Divine Call)

[more at http://ungb.org/bahformstxt.txt ]
 
Sep 2012
359
Panama
#5
Sounds great Pete.

What do you want to start with?

Regards Tony
The ones I meantioned are just some that I've been thinking about (climate change, income equality, migration, conflict/peace) and I'd be just tickled to begin w/ any or all or anything else we've been coming across in the discourse (e.g. public welfare, nutrition, asymetrical conflict --AKA terrorism). There're ample quotes/guidance on every one plus these are things that the greater community seems to care about. If we can show that we can consult in unity my thinking is that this is a powerful way we can be the leavening of the world's acceptance of the Devine Plan.
 
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
#6
The ones I meantioned are just some that I've been thinking about (climate change, income equality, migration, conflict/peace) and I'd be just tickled to begin w/ any or all or anything else we've been coming across in the discourse (e.g. public welfare, nutrition, asymetrical conflict --AKA terrorism). There're ample quotes/guidance on every one plus these are things that the greater community seems to care about. If we can show that we can consult in unity my thinking is that this is a powerful way we can be the leavening of the world's acceptance of the Devine Plan.
Pete, have a look at and read of this and you will note the issues faced;

Diversity of Bahá’í views about gays, homosexuality, theocracy, God and other topics

Regards Tony
 
Sep 2012
359
Panama
#7
...a lot of the division found in talking to people is that they have preconceived on which "side" they're on...
Agreed, and Abdul Baha described in Some Answered Questions how we acquire knowledge --that senses, reason, tradition, are all good and all can fail. Yet, people can discern what is true if they draw to the Spirit of Truth, then it moves away from which side is better and becomes a choice of priorities --do we want to submit ourselves to Reality on its terms or do we cling to our fondly held belief systems.

It's a moral question and it law the jurys decide if the accused understands what right and wrong is and what the choice was. We can not only choose what's true but also whether someone else is seeking truth or pulling a scam. Yeah, lots of people don't but just the same people can.
...I don't know where to go from there though...
Seems we both have gotten stuck at this point and that my sense is that we've both had similar experiences when consultation w/ the freinds has come out in a manner that's been less than pleasant. But we're getting better, we're learning. My thinking is that the situation's as described at the end of the letter from the Dept. of the Secretariat 29 Nov. 2017:

The House of Justice trusts that, in pursuing the many facets of their work of community building, social action, and involvement in the discourses of society, individuals, communities, and institutions will continually grow in their capacity to make a distinctive and effective contribution to addressing the multitudinous problems afflicting society and the planet, including those associated with climate change.
 
Likes: tonyfish58
May 2018
111
New Zealand
#10
The ones I meantioned are just some that I've been thinking about (climate change, income equality, migration, conflict/peace) and I'd be just tickled to begin w/ any or all or anything else we've been coming across in the discourse (e.g. public welfare, nutrition, asymetrical conflict --AKA terrorism). There're ample quotes/guidance on every one plus these are things that the greater community seems to care about. If we can show that we can consult in unity my thinking is that this is a powerful way we can be the leavening of the world's acceptance of the Devine Plan.
Asymetrical conflict.. never heard it called that ..

Nutrition, what were your thoughts on this ?

-T
 

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