Sunday, December 22, 2013

Surf's up!

image credit:
Stephen McCulloch,
via Wikipedia
Recently I crossed the path of a huge wave of idle contention on the Internet, and I went tumbling head over heels. My head is still spinning, and I'm still floundering around, dazed, trying to get back to the shore.

What knocked me off my feet was not the wave itself. It was the undertow.

Now I'm wondering if it could serve any of my purposes to learn to ride those waves. If nothing else, it might help me avoid being knocked over by them.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Things to consult about with friends, family members, and others.

This is just a bullet list of some of my current visions and goals. I'll post later about my strategies and lines of action.

- Learning to be a pure channel of God's grace.
- Learning to be more places, more of the time, where God can do more with me.
- Learning to be a better person, a better friend and a better neighbor.
- Practicing and promoting loving devotion to the best interests of our communities.
- Learning to better encourage and support more individual initiatives.
- Practicing and promoting fellowship across religious and other ideological divides.
- Special attention to some of the people around me that I see being stigmatized and marginalized the most.
- Learning to do more to help improve the lives of the most ravaged people in the world, near and far.
- Learning to better encourage and support people who are studying with me, in practicing what we're learning.
- Learning to better encourage and support all people in their progress in the path of God.
- Experimenting with Baha'i community-building principles and practices, in Internet communities.
- Practicing and promoting better conduct on the Internet.
- Practicing and promoting a more loving economy.
- Practicing and promoting richer and deeper communications.
- Helping to improve the quality of training for community building.
- Helping to develop training for other work above.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Joy from watching companionship

Yesterday, while Patty was shopping on and around the walking street, I spent some time sitting on a bench, practicing keeping my heart open to God. I looked around and up at the sky for a while, then I remembered being filled with joy once before, sitting on the walking street, watching people go by. At first I couldn't remember how that happened, then I remembered that I had watched people laughing and having fun together. I didn't see as much of that this time, but I did see a lot of companionship in groups of various sizes. After I watched that for a while, I felt so much joy that it bubbled out in laughter and put tears in my eyes.

I took some pictures of groups of people, to share. I wrote about it, along with a few photos, to one of my friends that I'm studying and practicing with, learning ways to lift our spirits when we're feeling blue. I'm planning to write a post about it on my Nets of Wonder blog, along with a few photos, and to share that on Facebook.

Experiences like that sometimes remind me of the idea in The Celestine Prophecy, that one way to get energy, without draining it from others, is from beauty. This experience also reminded me of what Baha'u'llah said about fellowship. He wrote "This goal excelleth every other goal, and this aspiration is the monarch of all aspirations."