Baquia has invited me to write some columns here and in way of introducing myself, I’ve chosen this YouTube clip as inspiration for my beginning:
I chose this also in way of response as a non-American living in Europe, to the current presidental run-up. I am not belitteling this, just noting how these candidates are dominating the airways and news in a small distant European country.
Note the â€?tongue-in-cheekâ€? reference in the few first minutes, the video artist is also reminding us, he intends this as a light-hearted commentary on recent world events and perhaps on politics itself. My take on this video is that it is reminder of how easy it is to get caught up in fear or feel confused by things that seem black or white, right or wrong or whatever. So I wish the American voters who read this, greyness and nuance
It must be tough to maintain a sense of involvement when politics, in this case, is just a choice between two (one or the other), when it would be easier to switch off completely, however as Bahais we are obliged not to switch off.
Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 212
…as the government of America is a republican form of government, it is necessary that all the citizens shall take part in the elections of officers and take part in the affairs of the republic.
Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v2, p. 342
The tone of this video is a bit like Baha’u’llah’s where the first part is a quotation from the Qur’an:
“Pharaoh said: ‘Let me alone, that I may kill Moses; and let him call upon his Lord: I fear lest he change your religion, or cause disorder to show itself in the land.’ And Moses said: ‘I take refuge with my Lord, and your Lord from every proud one who believeth not in the Day of Reckoning.’”
Men have, at all times, considered every World Reformer a fomenter of discord, and have referred unto Him in terms with which all are familiar.
Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 63
You could see the Pharaoh as Bush and Moses as a symbol for change – for a new voice. Baha’u’llah turns the day of reckoning into world reform. It is a positive spin on the apocalyptic approach.
The dominant text in the video â€?this is the end of the world (as we know it)â€?, as I see it, is about a fear of change.
Note thou carefully that in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new. How then could such a vital power as religion — the guarantor of mankind’s great advances, the very means of attaining everlasting life, the fosterer of infinite excellence, the light of both worlds — not be made new?
Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 52
And just to hammer this idea of ‘change’, here’s Baha’u’llah:
In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of his Lord. …
When once the seeker hath ascended unto this station, he will enter the City of Love and Rapture,
Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 27
…the seeker, at the outset of his journey, witnesseth change and transformation, as hath already been mentioned. This is undoubtedly the truth, as hath been revealed concerning those days: “On the day when the earth shall be changed into another earth.” These are indeed days the like of which no mortal eye hath ever seen.
Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 61
If you make it to the end of the video you’ll see Churchill say: â€?this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end (as we know it) but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.â€?
This is my end. Till next time and all comments however grey (and even white or black) are most welcome.