Showing posts with label Oneness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oneness. Show all posts

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Be One

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 
-Marcus Aurelius

I go to my health club spa four days a week and swim for exercise. There are two pools; one indoor and the other outdoors. It’s so good to swim outdoors on a hot day.
Recently I ran into a friend in the locker room and briefly talked about the current state of world affairs. He said, “Wow, it is like when we had three historic upheavals going all at once: the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, world war I, and the stock market crash before the great depression.”

Certainly this time is unlike any I have lived in my sixty + years on earth.
The worldwide pandemic binds all humanity in a common struggle, but differing beliefs and opinions drive us apart. Everywhere people shout—usually past each other.

Our highest leaders are most often ineffectual egocentric windbags.  Not just in America.
Corruption and suffering are seen almost everywhere.

On Facebook, I do not “unfriend” or block people who have different opinions than me, so I see massive enmity. I notice a huge war of words and accusations being waged and much of it is hurtful. Like two sides engaged in primal screaming.
I posted online that I would not be engaging negatively, but rather, staying cosmically unified with all humanity . . . and for this I got support but also a lot of blowback. 

So, I will take my stand for virtue, for that is what is lacking in all this mess. Lack of virtue is the root cause of disease in the world; and that includes the coronavirus, global warming, racial hatred, excesses of wealth and poverty . . . you name it. 

There are so many virtues to acquire why bother with anything else? Here are some, and their opposites:

Justice — corruption
Charity — stealing
Mending — neglect
Kindness — hatred, hostility
Courtesy — disrespect
Unity — division
Bravery — cowardice
Quality — inferiority
Sobriety — drunkeness
Moral — immoral
Loving — hateful
Temperance — excess
Wisdom — thoughtlessness
Enlightenment — stupidity

The list goes on—hundreds! 
So this is the real work . . . 

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 
-Marcus Aurelius


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Unity Of Existence

In pure moments of being, I perceive behind the veil of the material world in the realm of non-duality, or oneness. Here, love reigns supreme. Unity rules the real existence.

During periods of high creativity, I am able to let go of selfishness so as to merge completely and seamlessly with the whole. While painting, time vanishes, the joy of process takes over, and as the picture takes shape, surprises occur as if I am not in control at all. The best photography occurs when I lose everything that is a barrier between me and the subject. In writing, ego must fall, so that I am not writing with an eye to myself; rather the process unfolds on its own.

When meeting anyone new, I love being in this space of oneness. As if to say, “I have no judgement of you, we come from the same dust, created by the same Hand. I remember you—a friend from before this existence. We met on the shores of dawn.” Thus, I can look in the face of a foreigner and see a fellow being I have known all my life.
A king is my brother, same as a pauper. A person of a different color, with different features and dress—no matter, I combine just as well with them as with one of my own kind.

There are limitations. My body is not so quick to lose itself. It has adapted in certain environments. It has learned to be friendly with some elements and not friendly with others. Experience says it does not like hot, humid jungles. It reacts violently to some contamination in water in foreign lands that those people are immune to (India) . It is repelled by certain foods that other people eat—such as spiders (Cambodia). I can’t help that.

I have been in all these situations and appreciate them as part of the fabric of life. Behind all is the unity of existence.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Gem In The Crown

The World is One Country, and mankind its citizens. -Baha'u'llah

The International Folk Art Market happens once a year in July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Behind the scenes, teams of people work on the logistics year round, and it is supported by hordes of volunteers. It is truly a HAPPENING—the world's largest exhibition and sale of works by master folk artists. In ten years, over 690 artists from over 80 countries have participated and generated $18 million in sales while taking home 90 percent.

It is truly a gem in the crown of Santa Fe.

I go each year to browse and buy. Heidi Of the Mountains and I buy each other gifts. This year she also worked one day as a volunteer. Also, I photograph the rich diversity of the human family. With 10,000 patrons a day, it can get crowded, but the mood is festive with many of the browsers dressed gayly in folksy style, along with the artists. The artisans are proud, wearing their native garb, and readily pose when asked. They are happy. Each have come to America for a visit and to gain prosperity, all while being loved in return.

“Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.”
“By this it is meant that the world of humanity is like a tree, the nations or peoples are the different limbs or branches of that tree, and the individual human creatures are as the fruits and blossoms thereof. In this way Bahá’u’lláh expressed the oneness of humankind, whereas in all religious teachings of the past the human world has been represented as divided into two parts: one known as the people of the Book of God, or the pure tree, and the other the people of infidelity and error, or the evil tree. The former were considered as belonging to the faithful, and the others to the hosts of the irreligious and infidel—one part of humanity the recipients of divine mercy, and the other the object of the wrath of their Creator. Bahá’u’lláh removed this by proclaiming the oneness of the world of humanity, and this principle is specialized in His teachings, for He has submerged all mankind in the sea of divine generosity. Some are asleep; they need to be awakened. Some are ailing; they need to be healed. Some are immature as children; they need to be trained. But all are recipients of the bounty and bestowals of God.” -Abdul-Baha

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Human Family

Each year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, during the month of July, the Folk Art Market unfolds to great fanfare. Heidi Of The Mountains and I always go, and visit all the booths, enjoying the fabulous crafts from all over the globe. The artisans dress in their native garb, and seem just as excited as the big crowds of people that come to admire their work.

We always spend money, and usually, more than we intended.

I especially enjoy the grand show of humanity and the flavorful atmosphere. This year, I became nostalgic for my former days of world travel. Seeing the Tuareg silver jewelry reminded me of Morocco, the emerald cotton shirts with simple designs of Thailand, and the fellow from Egypt with his artwork made me remember how welcome I felt there.

This annual market is an example of our glorious world and its human family. In the words of Baha'u'llah, “The earth is one country, and mankind its citizens.”

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Over The Rainbow

Children in Kashmir, India
Recently I have been posting daily from my profile on Facebook, in a series I call “Over The Rainbow.” I select photos of simple, honest people from across the globe from my archive of travel pictures, and add a caption. Furthermore, I introduce the picture with a note of disgust about American politics—so that the picture is “over the rainbow” and far away from the divisiveness that we so often see in politics.
Masai mother and child, Tanzania

For the last thirty years, American politics has become uglier and uglier. Now, it is almost a given that political aspirants will spend vast amounts of money to pump up their own image and at the same time, try and make an opponent from another party look bad in comparison. This technique uses the media to spread its message and is called “attack advertising.”  Meanwhile, American elected officials’ carry this mentality into the halls of government and then agree to disagree, continuing to quarrel and fight. Government almost grinds to a halt and people’s needs are not met. These days, politicians are held in very low esteem.
Woman at a fish market, Hoi An, Vietnam

While I travel, all this drama is far behind me, somewhere in the distance on the other side of the rainbow. I bask in the light of unity when I meet common people in strange lands. People everywhere want peace and prosperity. Masses of the world’s citizens strive under corrupt and dysfunctional governments. Somehow, they create a pattern and rhythm of life that sustains them and that they can smile about, even under the dark clouds of politics and greed.

Mayan vendor, Belize
Click to see more artistic photography by Steven Boone.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Humanity Is One

THE DREAM is my home and I am content in it. Wherever I am in the world THE DREAM is providing me all I need. I have no longing for a physical home, and the fewer possessions I have the more freedom I feel. In a Kris Kristofferson song called Me and Bobby McGee, the blues singer Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.” It is profound to have nothing to lose, since then, there is everything to gain. On the other hand, the more possessions a person has, the more they risk losing. This causes a certain amount of fear. I am aware that since I began buying goods in India, Thailand and Vietnam, I have felt less free. Now, there are loans to repay, and I often feel responsibility for all the items—their safe arrival in the USA, storage, and eventual sale and repaying of debt. I feel obliged to return to Santa Fe soon, and so I have ticket on January 15 from Auckland, New Zealand to Santa Barbara, California where my parents live. By January 20 I will be in Santa Fe. Certainly, THE DREAM will not end with my traveling, since it is the fabric of my consciousness.

The International Baha’i conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia included communities from Korea, Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The main language was English, with translations in Malaysian, Timor and Mandarin. About 3000 people attended, and the main focus of the gathering was discussing the progress of consolidating, and teaching the Baha’i Faith to the greater world at large.

Tomorrow, I leave for Australia. I will arrive at Gold Coast, an area famous for it’s fine beaches and upscale development. On January 4, I fly to Auckland, New Zealand, my last country before I return to the USA on January 15. I say “home”, but really, THE DREAM is my home.

More than ever before, I feel the truth of Baha’u’llah's words: “The world is one country, and mankind is its citizens.” Ábdúl Bahá said, “Wars are caused by purely imaginary racial differences; for humanity is one kind, one race and progeny inhabiting the same globe. In the creative plan there is no racial distinction and separation such as Frenchman, Englishman, American, German, Italian or Spaniard; all belong to one household. These boundaries and distinctions are human and artificial, not natural and original. All mankind are the fruits of one tree, flowers of the same garden, waves of one sea. In the animal kingdom no such distinction and separation are observed. The sheep of the East and the sheep of the West would associate peacefully. The oriental flock would not look surprised as if saying, "These are sheep of the Occident; they do not belong to our country." All would gather in harmony and enjoy the same pasture without evidence of local or racial distinction. The birds of different countries mingle in friendliness. We find these virtues in the animal kingdom. Shall man deprive himself of these virtues? Man is endowed with superior reasoning power and the faculty of perception; he is the manifestation of divine bestowals. Shall racial ideas prevail and obscure the creative purpose of unity in his kingdom? Shall he say, "I am a German," "I am a Frenchman," or an "Englishman" and declare war because of this imaginary and human distinction? God forbid! This earth is one household and the nativity of all humanity; therefore the human race should ignore distinctions and boundaries which are artificial and conducive to disagreement and hostility. We have come from the East. Praise be to God! we find this continent prosperous, the climate salubrious and delightful, the inhabitants genial and courteous, the government equable and just. Shall we entertain any other thought and feeling than that of love for you? Shall we say, "This is not our native land, therefore everything is objectionable?" This would be gross ignorance to which man must not subject himself. Man is endowed with powers to investigate reality, and the reality is that humanity is one in kind and equal in the creative plan. Therefore false distinctions of race and nativity which are factors and causes of warfare must be abandoned.” Ábdúl Bahá, from Foundations of World Unity