To a waltz rhythm
We are just children –
but our ancestors were younger than we (rest rest) are (rest rest) now (rest rest rest rest)
And the world holds its breath (rest rest pause)
as we take our first steps.
What will this new world look like? What will it look like a month, a year, ten, one hundred, one thousand years from now? Because this is the time. This is it. Whatever we are going to call it then, we are living in it now. And we are history’s ancestors. I believe we have to stop thinking of our ancestors as wiser than we were. Yes they were amazing, filled with common sense and ground wisdom, fire wisdom, water wisdom, survival wisdom, the song of creation. Yes. But now we need living wisdom. “What you needed to do to survive may not be what you need to do to live” says Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen in her book Kitchen Table Wisdom. The human race has survived – kicking and screaming and loving and fighting and singing and sighing. Corruption has plagued us. Greed has wounded us. War has been our answer for too long.
God has sent us Messengers, Prophets, Holy Ones, Teachers, and they have all, every single one of them, explained something about human nature and the soul – our connection to the cosmic creation. They have urged us to turn away from greed, to be humble, to be loving, to be just and to remember the Creator, to recognize that we have been given this awesome and terrible power to choose between right and wrong, good and evil. We still have that choice.
God has sent us new teachers that the world has yet to recognize. The Báb was martyred and Bahá’u’lláh was tortured and imprisoned for their teachings that called humanity to recognize that there is one God, that we are one human family and that is time and past time to rise to a higher level of justice, mercy, equality, honesty, – to seek truth, to avoid blindly following rituals of the past. They acknowledged and honored the perfect, beautiful truths proclaimed by all of God’s Messengers. They looked at the condition people were in and gave them remedies to address and improve their condition. I believe that if any group of us had actually followed the teachings of any one of these Prophets, our collective Sacred Teachers – if any group of people had actually been obedient to the laws ordained by these Holy Ones – we would not be in the mess we are in today.
I believe in God, even though I am unable to define or explain God – I just have this sense of the Great, the Holy, the Ocean of eternity, of sacred, wide open space. I believe in Jesus. I believe in Moses. I believe in Buddha. I believe in the White Buffalo Calf Maiden. I believe that every group of people has been given a message from God about how to organize their society. I wasn’t there, I can’t prove they existed – but I recognize the message of love combined with instruction that seems to me to come from a Holy Place, a place of this mysterious realm of the Creator, a message that calls and speaks to my heart.
Now we can see each other, all over the world, we can see each other’s eyes, we can hear each other’s voices. We can see oceans, mountains, rivers, meadows, we can see that my blue sky looks like your blue sky, that my stars in Minnesota look like your stars in Australia. We can see mothers and fathers, babies, grandparents, youth – in an instant we can see it. But seeing each other isn’t enough. It seems to me that as people we still have this incredible need to exclude someone or something. You can’t be here because of your gender, your color, your family, your religion, your money, your address, your history, your opinions, your difference. We are scared of each other. We are jealous of each other. We steal from each other. And we love each other. Don’t forget.
I believe it is time to actually try to follow the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, who saw that “the people are wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with their own eyes, or hear His Melody with their own ears. Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness. Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great.” It is time to recognize that “The earth is one country and mankind its citizens.” It is time to stop and listen to a new voice reminding us of the Ancient Voice. “This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it. This is the Source of the commandment of God, did ye but judge it fairly. This is the manifest and hidden Secret; would that ye might perceive it. O peoples of the world! Cast away, in My name that transcendeth all other names, the things ye possess, and immerse yourselves in this Ocean in whose depths lay hidden the pearls of wisdom and of utterance, an ocean that surgeth in My name, the All-Merciful.”
What will it look like when the world is one country? When we see that we are living together in one home? That we are one human family? What is stopping us? What are we afraid of? What will we lose by recognizing our common humanity? Is each perfect and lovely flower diminished by the other perfect and lovely flowers? We fear losing our story. That my family history won’t matter. That by recognizing and honoring the other I lose myself. We fear being hungry, thirsty, ignored. We fear being taken advantage of, because historically, people have taken advantage of others. But what if we could expand our vision and take a deep breath? And feel good, and safe, and filled with delight? What if our beautiful uniqueness was part of an incredible world symphony?
We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; yet they deem Us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and banishment…. That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened… Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come…. Yet do We see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that which would conduce to the happiness of mankind…. These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family…. Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind….