The conversation between Moses and Sheppard is one of the most revolutionary works of Rumi not only for his time but also for all times when people of power attempt to over power others and take over the power of the All Powerful, claim monopoly of His presence and sell tickets for the sole chance of an audience with Him and become the gate keepers of the most sought after gate, the Gate of Heaven.
Faith and belief is in reality the domain of intense love. To know and to Love has been from the very beginning of creation the very reason of us coming and also going. Any one who has experienced love, knows that the flip side of love is fear, the fear of losing it. Fear, much like love, is one of the most misunderstood emotions in man. The love of a child has on its flip side the fear of loosing the child. The love of life is accompanied by the fear of death. In psychology those who have no fear at all are also those who cannot be trusted and one of the prerequisites of criminality and violation of others is lack of appreciation for fear. Many of the violations of moral codes such as what we experienced by Wall Street recently, is the illusion that we are on our own and there is no checks and balances here or here after. It is this love and fear of loosing it that has made the lovers of God easy pray for the impostures and those who know no fear. Fear as a rule is a protective emotion. If we had no fear of the hackers, we would not use any virus scans and that would be really naive!! At the present an enormous amount of resources and man power is spent to address the fear we have of one another. With the true and heartfelt fear of the All Knowing, All Loving, All Present, All Wise Creator, we might think twice before we cross the lines!! This protection we need because man possesses two opposing natures; the lower, the animal nature and the higher or the spiritual, God like nature. In each of us resides an animal and also an angel and depending on who is stronger, who has been fed more often, and who jumps faster and higher and opens the door with every knock, we act like an angel or a lesser being. As long as we are on this plain of existence, we are not free from the whisperings of the lower nature. The AA has a good reality check on this lower nature and its powers to high jack the person and all its humanity.
The issue of justice also remains unsettled and incomplete if there is no deeper appreciation for the complex and much needed element of fear. For justice to be seamless we need both the fear of consequences here plus the rewards and punishments of the hereafter. Because simply not all cases of injustice can be settled in here. The assurance that hereafter also is the realm of accountability, help us remain accountable even though no one seems to be watching. With all these measures of protection from others and violation of others and the charter of human rights, we need also measures to protect us against our worse enemy, our own selves.
Inviting people to accept a believe and way of life is one thing, forcing and controlling is quite another. Inviting is about encouragement to join, having a convincing argument, wining the hearts of the people to join voluntarily and giving every one a real choice, a real chance. Bahaú’llah in this regard teaches that if we have something of value, we must offer it with humility and open mindedness. If they accept, wonderful. If they reject, leave them to themselves, in peace and pray for them. By telling His followers to leave people alone and pray for them, Bahaú’llah wants to make sure His believers have a constructive act to perform and don’t walk away feeling rejected, helpless and powerless when someone rejects their offer and invitation. This is such a powerful and positive safety valve for the lower self or human nature because when people feel powerless and rejected, when they see themselves having nothing to loose, they are apt to become the villain themselves. Psychology has learned this by experience.
People need to have a real choice. Telling people what to believe and how to worship and then telling them if they don’t, they will be punished and deprived of our favors is not really giving them a choice. This is in reality depriving people of their most fundamental human right which is the right to choose their conscience. Abdu’l-Baha reminds us of the destructive consequence of forcing others to do good or bad. He admonishes: Man achieves perfection out of good deeds he does voluntarily not forcefully. Even in educating our children, this principle of choice stands. Parents must educate and teach their children about good conduct by their own example and also by proper admonishment. Children ultimately exercise the choice to be upright or crooked. The fear of loosing the love and respect of their parents might be one important element of protecting the children from their own ignorant selves.
Finally giving people choice is a most complex process and requires certain conditions and preparations such as:
Educating the person about each choice and the consequences of the choice. For example saying no to drugs means this while saying yes will have this social, psychological, physical and moral consequences.
Educating people about their powers and capabilities so they do not settle for a choice out of ignorance of their potential. For example; not choosing to become a scientist as a result of thinking: “I am a girl and girls are not created to become a scientist”; is a false belief imposed by false education and lack of proper education. One hundred and sixty years ago, long before we had the right for women to vote in this country, Bahaú’llah taught that men and women are equal in all their rights and capacities; they are like the two wings of the bird of humanity. The reason for inequality is lack of proper and identical curriculum and education for both gender.
creating a safe environment is necessary for giving choice so the person’s choice is free from all arbitrary imposed consequences. For every choice people only need to be aware of natural and logical consequence of their choice. A person who chooses to run for a political office must know of and also be willing to deal with the unfortunate and hostile atmosphere of political dog eat dog out there. A person who makes the choice of lying must also know that the natural and logical consequence of it will be loosing the trust of all people and isolation by all good people. The story of the boy who cried wolf is a simple lesson.
One more important fact we must note is that man does not have choice in all aspects of his life and a requirement for happiness is to know that we do not know and cannot know everything. A wise person knows when to resign to the fact that although there is no limit to what we desire and imagine, there is a limit to everything we do. Not everyone is able to become an Olympic athlete. There are certain God given capacities and capabilities that come with the package. The innate qualities, and the heredity qualities and capabilities of Shakiel Oneal is very different than the powers God has given to Christopher Hawkins. Both are good but different perfections.
In order to know what is perfection and what is a lack of perfection, we must turn to the light and use as our guiding light and map the universal attributes of the Divine Essence expressed in all aspects of His creation including the world of nature. There we find the signs that points to kindness, generosity of spirit, cooperation, harmony, power, preferring the good of all to our own limited good, patience, service to all humanity, trustworthiness, compassion, love, honesty, a kindly heart which is the load stone of the hearts of men, etc.
That is what the story of the Moses and Sheppard is all about. Choice of how to love that Unknowable Essence, the All Knowing, the All Loving, The All Wise God of all humanity the way we feel His love.
نه از کفر و نه از ایمان
نه از آتش نه از حرمان
نه از فردا نه از مردن
نه از پیمانه می خوردن
خدا را می شناسم از شما بهتر
شما را از خدا بهتر
خدا از هرچه پندارم جدا باشد
خدا هرگز نمی خواهد خدا باشد
نمی خواهد خدا بازیچه ی دست شما باشد
که او هرگز نمی خواهد چنین آیینه ای وحشت نما باشد
هراس از وی ندارم من
هراسی را از این اندیشه ام در پی ندارم من
در عالم بیم از آن دارم
مبادا رهگذاری را بیازارم
نه جنگی با کسی دارم
نه کس با من …
همای امیدوار است که بتواند یک روز این اپرا را در ایران اجرا کند ؛ با وجودیکه او هم اکنون تصمیم دارد تنها این برنامه را در لس آنجلس به روی صحنه ببرد ،
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Good luck Homay, it takes many hands to call it an applause.