|Posted: 07 October 2006 at 8:40am | IP Logged
In The Sun Also Rises(1926) Christianity is no longer part of the inner lives of people. Hemmingway knew the jig was up for the old religions. A small core of the North American population had found by 1926 a new basis for community in the teachings of the Buddha, of Baha'u'llah and other New Religious Movements. But it was not until the 1960s that the numbers in this core became anything more than miniscule. In 1960 there were still under 1000 Baha'is in Canada. When I began my pioneer life in 1962 the Baha'i community began to increase significantly in many places in the world. Many people found a new dynamic, a new basis for community, in the Baha'i teachings, but the work was slow and arduous. Buddhism among the old religions and Baha’i among the new slowly grew in popularity. -Ron Price, an attempt to place the origin and growth of this new Order in perspective.
Just as you* were bringing that Order
into its first form the world, the world
which got His Tablets, was getting turned
upside down by cars that took people away
and away, planes that took them up and away
and radios that took their old world away
as did urbanization which made it difficult
to know who your neighbour was in cities
of thousands and anomie spread to every root
and branch and they rushed into a new age
mostly without poetry, music or beauty, although
there was more sound and words written
than ever before and the cars and planes got faster
and the lost generation of the Twenties
was lost again in the Sixties
as they brought that Order further into view
and the spiritual malaise got deeper
and that was really what you had to fight
in the third war which never came
as the old community died
and this new one was slowly born.
But it was no garden party either.
You had to give it all, at least sometimes,
to keep the spark of belief from dieing out,
being asphyxiated, in a tempest
of incredible complexity, speed and unpredictability.
9 March 1996
* Shoghi Effendi
+ 'Abdu'l-Baha's document, foundation, for the spread of His father's teachings(1916-17)
** Universal House of Justice
married for 37 years, teacher for 30 years; Baha'i for 47 years, living in Australia for 34 years.