We need to consult, can we?

Jan 2012
694
China
#91
@Pete in Panama My idea for practicing consultation would be to consult about a plan of action for some vision or goal related to climate change. That could be a plan of action for one person, or a group of people, or Baha’is with each other, or Baha’is with other people. The person could be one of us. The group could be some of us. If it’s for Baha’is with each other, I would want it be about possible improvements in the seven year plan from the BIC. If it’s for Baha’is with other people, I would want it to be about possible improvements in the Sustainable Development Agenda sponsored by the UN. If it’s for a group, it could be you and me. If it’s for a person, I’ll volunteer to be that person if no one else does. If it’s all the same to you, I think I would prefer working on a plan of action for me, or for some other person if anyone else volunteers for it.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#92
Something easier might be to agree that climate change is controversial in the greater community and the controversy sometimes causes disunity among the friends and impairs teaching efforts. Then the goal becomes ways to protect/strengthen our unity and see how we've been teaching so we can develop better teaching techniques that not only avoid problems but show the power of this revelation.

Where do we want to go?
I’m reviewing this thread again, and I see here a possible answer to one of my questions. Here it looks like maybe you want to discuss how to improve our teaching efforts, which you see being impaired by some kind of debating that is going on between Baha’is about climate change and some other issues. Would you like to try working out some plan of action for you and me to work on together, in response to that? I would love that! That would be a dream come true for me!
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#93
While I think we should of course minimize our impact on environmental degradation and climate change via renewable energy sources and more sustainable cultural practices (not monocrops/deforestation/a garden in every lawn instead of insecticide sprayed manicured grass lawns)

But, not sure we should try and go beyond that to use science to reverse climate change. We don't know what the possible side effects of any such large scale action would be no matter how many simulation models they project. It's just sort of playing God trying to control nature to that extent I feel like. We need massive change to end our attempted dominion and destruction of nature, but then we need to submit to it, not try and alter it to best suit our conditions.

Pher
I already responded to this, but I want try to clarify what I said. I think that what you’re saying applies to any large scale action for any purpose, and just as much to actions aiming to reduce climate change as to actions aiming to reverse it. Again, I don’t think the problem is from no one seeing the possible adverse side effects. There have always been people trying to warn us about those.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#94
So I am don't think we get far trying to come up with a novel and detailed solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
For myself I am happy to thrust the experts on this . Many solutions have been put forward.
Sorry for my “ROTFL.” I actually agree with you about this. I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that we could come up with some good ideas for improving the plans that have already been widely agreed on, but I see other possibilities for discussions between us that might do us and the world a lot more good.
Also which Bahai Writings do you feel deal with the issue of Climate change?
The BIC and maybe the House of Justice have set that in the context of sustainable development, and you can find a compilation on that with a Web search.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#95
@Pete in Panama It took me three times reading this whole thread, to finally see (maybe) what you wanted to do here. If it’s what I think, I love it. Let’s go, let’s do it, even if it’s only just the two of us. Let’s work on a plan of action for you and me, as our response to the debating between Baha’is that is impeding our teaching efforts. That’s an issue that’s very close to my heart.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#96
@Pete in Panama I'm hoping that what you wanted to do is what I'm thinking now that it might be. I'll be praying, studying and meditating with a compilation on consultation. I'd rather not spend a lot of time trying to agree on all the facts. I'd like to just see what facts we already agree on, and see if that's enough for us to agree on a plan of action for us to work on together. I don't want to say too much before I pray, study and meditate some more, about consultation, but I think I can safely say now that sometimes I see Baha'is saying and doing things in Internet discussions that are repelling people away from the Faith. I haven't actually seen them debating with each other about global issues, myself, but that doesn't surprise me at all. If we both see that as a problem we'd like to work on, maybe we can consider that between us as a fact in itself, enough to start considering what spiritual principles might be involved, and what we might be able to do about it, individually and together.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#97
I'm reading the letter about climate change again, and some things are jumping out at me.
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.
While as a fundamental principle Bahá’ís do not engage in partisan political affairs, this should not be interpreted in a manner that prevents the friends from full and active participation in the search for solutions to the pressing problems facing humanity.
A moderate perspective is a practical and principled standpoint from which one can recognize and adopt valid and insightful ideas whatever their source, without prejudice.
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#98
Now I'm reading Seizing the Opportunity: Redefining the challenge of climate change again. It was when I read this, that I realized that the subservience of national governments to global monopoly interests doesn't have to impede human progress as much as I've been thinking it does.
It is the opportunity to take the next step in the transition from a state-centered mode of interacting on the world stage to one rooted in the unity which connects us as the inhabitants of one biosphere, the citizens of one world and the members of one human civilization.
I see the community building that the House of Justice is promoting as possibly the most consequential way for anyone to help accelerate that transition. Now I see some possible divine wisdom in the parades, charades and masquerades of national governments.
To complement the processes of change already underway, we consider the concrete ways in which the principle of the oneness of humanity could be operationalized at the above-mentioned levels and could serve to build momentum, support and intellectual capacity for more integrated and just approaches to the solution of the challenge before us.
The Individual Level: Engaging children and youth
The Community Level: Advancing gender equality and encouraging dialogue between science and religion
The National and International Levels: Building foundations for cooperative action
 
Jan 2012
694
China
#99
Help me out if I'm missing something but my understanding is that consulting is how we solve a problem, develop a plan, or answer a question as a group. It means

--we're searching for the truth,
--we're all looking at the facts for the first time,
--nobody has ideology or conclusions that their married to,
--every thought offered to the group becomes property of the group and together the group can love it or hate it and the idea giver is fine w/ that.
I don't know if there's anything missing or not, in your understanding of consultation, but I see a lot missing in how you talk about it.

However that may be, I hope that I've finally understood what you wanted to do. I hope it's about what Baha'is are doing in Internet discussions, that is repelling people away from the Faith. Or are you seeing that elsewhere too? Blogs? Web pages? Offline? Along with that I'd like to discuss what good we see that Baha'is could be doing online, for its own sake, and to attract people to the Faith, if that could interest you. It could be a social development project for you and me, if that could interest you. Do you see any other facts we might need to agree on, to work on a plan together, besides the fact that what Baha'is say and do sometimes repels people from the Faih?

Next we could look in our scriptures for ideas about what we might want to try to do about that. We could think of it as a social problem, a social illness, along with all the others in society. What do our scriptures say in general about what we can do about social illnesses? Is there anything more specific about the problem we're seeing? Baha'u'llah does talk about the harm that the behavior of His followers can do to Him. Does He give us any advice about what to do about that, specifically? I'll be looking at that. I've tried a lot of different ideas in the fifteen or twenty years that I've been working on this. I'll tell you some ideas that I'm working on now. One is to try to learn to be a better friend to more people. That means learning to encourage and support them in ways that really help, in the challenges they're facing and in the good that they're trying to do. Another is to continually try to improve my own practice of my ideas for what to do in Internet discussions, for them to do more good for all of us and for all people everywhere. Another is storytelling, to tell stories about our experiences in exploring the best possibilities we see in Internet discussions. I have a list of ideas that I made a long time ago, for what I want to practice in Internet discussions. The first two on my list are to pray about it, and to search in the writings for ideas and inspiration, but most of that time I've been forgetting to do those. The last week or two in the Religious Forums I've been practicing those intensely, and it's been like a magical mystery tour for me, or like my house being picked up with me in it, and carried off to the land of Oz. Another idea that I've been practicing intensely is to try to really understand what the other person is saying, and post friendly questions and comments to help me understand better. I see that as a way for me to learn the most, and at the same time possibly giving the other person some encouragement and support in whatever good they might be trying to do.

Now I'll be searching in the writings to see if I can find anything about what to do, specifically, about Baha'u'llah's followers doing things that repel people from the Faith. Every time I discuss this where other Baha'is are posting, some of them tell me, with quotations from the writings, that I shouldn't be thinking about or paying any attention to what other Baha'is are doing. Do you see any irony in that?
 
Jan 2012
694
China
@Pete in Panama I haven't been able to find any surrounding context for the passage where Baha'u'llah says "That which can harm me ..." All I can think of is to look for what He says about how to influence other people's behavior in general. We could also think of it in terms of culture, of working for changes in online Bahai culture. The House of Justice has written a lot about a change of culture, and I've seen it change dramatically in the offline community in the last twenty years. The House of Justice might be on to something there. :) It took the power of the Covenant to do it, though.
 

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