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Artistic snippets

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:07 pm
by brettz9
Hi all,

Wanted to start a thread for people to share more powerful artistic snippets which may pertain to concepts in the Faith, especially those with an edge: or as Bahá'u'lláh puts it, in His praise of an artist who achieved this, "indicative of both the light of reunion and the fire of separation" (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, 176). Feel free to offer parallel quotations from the Writings as as well if you wish.

Disobedience to the Covenant:

If you should go skating,
On the thin ice of modern life,
Dragging behind you the silent reproach,
Of a million tear-stained eyes,
Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice,
Appears under your feet.
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind,
With your fear flowing out behind you,
As you claw the thin ice.

(Pink Floyd, The Thin Ice)

Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:40 am
by majnun
Syd Barrett died today
He composed and sung early
classics for Floyd, like Astronomy Domine, and
many others.

he was 60 y.o.

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:02 am
by jdesson
I was genuinely saddened upon hearing of Syd Barrett’s death. Pink Floyd’s music has provided me with a voice of many internal feelings that I myself was unable to adequately articulate. This has been, and continues to this day, to be a great source of comfort to me in the way that the arts, especially music, have always sustained people. I have, for very personal reasons, asked my children that at my funeral the final instrumental part of “Comfortably Numb” be played along with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending”.
Jim Desson

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:40 pm
by majnun
yep, our turn will come too.
Syd Barrett's melodic lines were
unique to him, however it is rare today
to listen to Matilda mother, or Arnold lane.
Time passes by.


Bernard Leach

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:23 am
by onepence
Here is a rather interesting story

Bernard Leach, English Potter, Author, Artist, Poet and Bahá'í

Until he died in 1979, Bernard Leach for over forty years was recognized as the greatest living Western potter. When asked who he thought was the greatest potter of all he answered "Shoji Hamada." But Hamada considered that Leach was. Both were leaders of the folk-craft movement in Japan.

The very name, Bernard Leach, assured a large and attentive audience, and he always devoted as much effort for the propagation of the Bahá'í Faith in Japan as his time would allow. He lived in England, St. Ives, Cornwall, where he had his pottery but he often visited Japan. In the later years when he was almost blind he still came to Japan to oversee exhibitions of his work.

For all his fame and prestige, he remained a humble man, speaking from the heart about the things he loved, the Bahá'í Faith, and art.

In the early days before he became a Bahá'í he was attracted to Buddhism, and was a close friend of the Zen master, Daisetz Suzuki, whose American wife was a Bahá'í.

Leach had first heard of the Faith in Japan from Miss Alexander

shortly after she arrived. Many years later he was taught more about the Faith from his friend, the well-known artist Mark Tobey, and he eventually accepted it. What attracted him to the Faith was that he thought in the Bahá'í Teachings East and West could unite.

Leach was the author of some renowned books, "A Potter in Japan," "Beyond East and West," "Drawings, Verse and Beliefs" and others. In many of his books, the Bahá'í Faith and its meaning to him was given prominence.

In 1953 when the Faith was still rather obscure, especially in Japan, Leach felt the urge to explain his ...


Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:29 am
by onepence
23 items found for Bernard Leach on ebay


Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:06 am
by brettz9
Dogs of War - Pink FLoyd

Dogs of war and men of hate
With no cause, we don't discriminate
Discovery is to be disowned
Our currency is flesh and bone
Hell opened up and put on sale
Gather 'round and haggle
For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don't know the webs we weave

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world ... One world

Invisible transfers, long distance calls,
Hollow laughter in marble halls
Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
Has unleashed the dogs of war
You can't stop what has begun
Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion
We all have a dark side, to say the least
And dealing in death is the nature of the beast


The dogs of war don't negotiate
The dogs of war won't capitulate,
They will take and you will give,
And you must die so that they may live
You can knock at any door,
But wherever you go, you know they've been there before
Well winners can lose and things can get strained
But whatever you change, you know the dogs remain.


The ideals of Peace must be nurtured and spread among the inhabitants of the world; they must be instructed in the school of Peace and the evils of war. First: The financiers and bankers must desist from lending money to any government contemplating to wage an unjust war upon an innocent nation. Second: The presidents and managers of the railroads and steamship companies must refrain from transporting war ammunition, infernal engines, guns, cannons and powder from one country into another. Third: The soldiers must petition, through their representatives, the Ministers of War, the politicians, the Congressmen and the generals to put forth in a clear, intelligible language the reasons and the causes which have brought them to the brink of such a national calamity. The soldiers must demand this as one of the prerogatives. Demonstrate to us", they must say, "that this is a just war, and we will then enter into the battlefield otherwise we will not take one step.... Come forth from your hiding-places, enter into the battlefield if you like to attack each other and tear each other to pieces if you desire to air your so-called contentions. The discord and feud are between you; why do you make us, innocent people, a party to it? If fighting and bloodshed are good things, then lead us into the fray by your presence!"

In short, every means that produces war must be checked and the causes that prevent the occurrence of war be advanced; -- so that physical conflict may become an impossibility. On the other hand, every country must be properly delimited, its exact frontiers marked, its national integrity secured, its permanent independence protected, and its vital interests honoured by the family of nations. These services ought to be rendered by an impartial, international Commission. In this manner all causes of friction and differences will be removed. And in case there should arise some disputes between them, they could arbitrate before the Parliament of Man, the representatives of which should be chosen from among the wisest and most judicious men of all the nations of the world.

("Star of the West", vol. 5, no. 8 (August 1914), pp. 115-117, no. 43, in Peace)

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:32 am
by brettz9
Democracy - Leonard Cohen

It's comin' to America first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
It's here the family's broken
And it's here the lonely say
That the heart has got to open
In a fundamental way
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
o mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
past the Reefs of Greed
through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean:
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Talk about the poets being inspired, eh?

...Theirs will be the duty and privilege, in their capacity first as the establishers of one of the most powerful pillars sustaining the edifice of the Universal House of Justice, and then as the champion-builders of that New World Order of which that House is to be the nucleus and forerunner, to inculcate, demonstrate, and apply those twin and sorely needed principles of Divine justice and order--principles to which the political corruption and the moral license, increasingly staining the society to which they belong, offer so sad and striking a contrast.
Observations such as these, however distasteful and depressing they may be, should not, in the least, blind us to those virtues and qualities of high intelligence, of youthfulness, of unbounded initiative, and enterprise which the nation as a whole so conspicuously displays...

(Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 20)

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:06 pm
by onepence
hey brettz9
i like your style
i hope you continue to post
your art in this forum

this thread
reminds me a lot of Ron Price
one of the few artist i find worthy of
The Golden Age of Baha'u'llah

as side note
I once explored
in poetry form

such as

There is only one Throne
therefore keep your eye on the ball

lol ... or something like that ... lol ... soft chuckles

There is only one Smile
therefore learn to enjoy this the divine comedy

There is only one Baha'i Library Online
and to be amongst all the friends that meet here is heavenly

the apostle dean

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:47 pm
by Baha'i Warrior
Disobedience to the Covenant:

Well, you can use the Koran...if you are disobedient not only will you not get the Houri :cry:--with big round dark brown eyes if i may add-- (i'm joking, of course...i should say 8) i guess) but you will have to drink boiling water and eat "fruit" consisting of decapitated heads...according to the Koran of course, see Rodwell's translation.

....well, if I thought of the next life as being so materialistic, that'd probably make me want to do the right thing, of course if we were living 1000 years ago, but it gets the point across. the way Baha'u'llah puts it of course is much more "terrifying," if you will, as being farther away from God is the worst thing that could happen to a person (right?).

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:36 pm
by brettz9
Onepence, my apologies for not having replied earlier. Your encouragement is appreciated. Not so much an original artist, but I hope I can weave a kind of collage from time to time from the works of those more inspired (or Inspired).

Yes, good point BW and good suggestion. One bit, by the way, that may be interesting. I recall reading (in perhaps nonauthentic text) an interesting interpretation (attributed, as I recall, to 'Abdu'l-Bahá) of the Qur'ánic (?) reference to skins being boiled and replaced as referring to the skins of doubt which recur for those in hellfire. Although they may discard one doubt, others return to them. Just as Bahá'u'lláh interpreted "Houris" as referring to the beauty of inner meaning, the other material symbols are also worth uncovering:
In the Book of Íqán, Bahá’u’lláh gives the key-note and explains some of the outstanding passages hoping that the friends will continue to study the Sacred Books by themselves and unfold the mysteries found therein. (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi)

And although as you rightly suggest, the correct motivation is strictly for the love of God, as Shoghi Effendi said, in a letter on his behalf, as far as punishment (and which, I think, stands to reason applies for reward as well, the other pillar of civilization):

You ask him about the fear of God: perhaps the friends do not realize that the majority of human beings need the element of fear in order to discipline their conduct? Only a relatively very highly evolved soul would always be disciplined by love alone.

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:55 pm
by Baha'i Warrior
brettz9 wrote: And although as you rightly suggest, the correct motivation is strictly for the love of God, as Shoghi Effendi said, in a letter on his behalf, as far as punishment (and which, I think, stands to reason applies for reward as well, the other pillar of civilization):

You ask him about the fear of God: perhaps the friends do not realize that the majority of human beings need the element of fear in order to discipline their conduct? Only a relatively very highly evolved soul would always be disciplined by love alone.

The love/fear of God—which is one and the same—is the only thing that keeps humans from committing evil or base acts. This is why Baha'u'llah states in Gleanings that we should not place our trust in those who disbelieve in God. Baha'u'llah states in the Hidden Words that our hearts, if pure from defilements, will be a "house" in which God will dwell—that is, those that are pure will reflect the attributes of God because in essence He has occupied their hearts. In Gleanings, Baha'u'llah elaborates:

"He [God] hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world's dominion...The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men's hearts, that He may cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane. Open, O people, the city of the human heart with the key of your utterance. Thus have We, according to a pre-ordained measure, prescribed unto you your duty." (pp. 303–4)

And I'd also like to suggest: it is not just that we are going to suffer in the next life if we are not obedient to the ordinances of God, but we will be miserable in this life. It is inevitable that we will be miserable in this life if we do away with God, because when death approaches, it would indeed be a sort of neurosis to remain happy if the belief that there is no God/no afterlife or purpose to life persists. That is true horror. Why is it every day when we turn to the news we see all these stories about Botox, pills to burn fat (without exercise), news relating to longevity, and, as Shoghi Effendi puts it, a total "overemphasis of sex" and youth? Because these things, though very temporary, are what makes those clinging to the material word "happy." These things make them happy, and when their youth starts to go away, agony and pessimism sets in. They can't see beyond their youth. The middle age identity crisis involves this (I wouldn't know personally though, still being in my 20s). But if Baha'is—especially those striving to be true Baha'is—if they lose everything—their possessions, their limbs, etc., they will still remain happy and the only thing that would sadden them is being removed from God. Again, in Gleanings: "Happy is the man that heedeth My counsel, and keepeth the precepts prescribed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise." (p. 305)

Just some thoughts... :)

Ron Price

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:29 pm
by onepence ... opic&t=132

The first booklets of music in my life, at least those I remember, go back to the early 1950s. But the first booklet of music that I put together myself in order to run sing-alongs was in the late 1960s. From about 1953 to 2005, a period of more than 50 years, I was involved in sing-alongs in one form or another. In the last ten years, 1995 to 2005, though, singalongs using booklets of songs I created became rarer and eventually non-existent occasions. In some ways it was fitting that the last three years of singalongs, 2002-2005, I was engaged in were with senior citizens using songbooks whose content was mainly for a generation born in the first quarter of the twentieth century—the earliest years of Baha’i administration, the 1910s and 1920s.

There is material here in my one remaining sing-along booklet for all age groups, although there is no material that originated from about 1975 to 2005, the group born in the the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. I did not listen to the music of that generation enough to be familiar with it and certainly not well enough to sing it in groups informally in the Baha’i community and in any other communities of which I was a part.

These resources are here in my booklet, though, for a future time when and if singalongs return to my life and to the groups I am involved with.

Ron Pric
September 6th 2005
My website has some 1500 pages of interviews, poetry, prose, articles, book reviews, autobiography and material to provide a base for discussion of a number of topics, to extend what I have written on any one posting to this site.

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:30 pm
by onepence
Ron Price ... man I love that guy



Where formerly he could be moved to song, he can do nothing now, he must dig down deeper. One would say that the shock of suffering and vision breaks down, one after another, the living sensitive partitions behind which his identity is hiding. He is harassed, he is tracked down, he is destroyed...He dies and is reborn in and with poetry.....He discovers an essentially free, objectless, creativity in poetry. With each poem, the poet creates a world and savours it. -Jacques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, New American Library, NY, 1953, pp.130-177.

I was soaked in music in the ‘60s
and like a wandering minstrel
for twenty-five years I took
that ubiquitous guitar, moved
to sing, to song, the pioneer singer.
But the shocks kept coming,
the fires died; there was nothing
left to sing, except dry bones
deep down on the edges
of my tongue, somewhere in my heart.

In my brain a new music did I find,
a certain verbal sound filled with thought
and meaning deep in the womb
of some poetic intuition with tact,
subtlety, to express the inexpressible
in common speech, human voice:
close to my heart and defining
what my thoughts are like,
conferring nobility on words.

Ron Price
22 December 1995
My website has some 1500 pages of interviews, poetry, prose, articles, book reviews, autobiography and material to provide a base for discussion of a number of topics, to extend what I have written on any one posting to this site.

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:53 pm
by onepence
pretty cool paper here ... ha_art.htm

Bahá’í Art: Fact or Fiction?
Inder Manocha


This Faith has already acquired, at least in the West, a tradition of what might be called Bahá'í "folk songs". A solitary individual, strapped to his guitar, will play dimly-evocative melodies for audiences encouraged to echo, or at least mime, lyrics in various appropriate places. Excursions on to the stage have triumphed in entertainment value, but have arguably evinced less discretion for artistic quality.


As witnesses to this uniquely human struggle, it is, arguably, the responsibility of Bahá'í artists to listen to the many strains of our Literature, to realize the fine edge that separates spiritual glory from abasement, the animal from the noble, and to invite an audience to witness the compelling power of faith in its often lonely attempt to maintain these distinctions.



Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:06 am
by brettz9
Eclipse - Pink Floyd

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

Such is the state of the wayfarers in this Valley; but the people of the Valleys above this see the end and the beginning as one; nay, they see neither beginning nor end, and witness neither "first" nor "last."

(Baha'u'llah, Seven Valleys, p. 15)


O YE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD! ...Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.

(Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words, Persian no. 63)


"Knowledge is a single point, but the ignorant have multiplied it."

(Baha'u'llah citing an Islamic tradition, Seven Valleys, pp. 24-25)

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:23 am
by brettz9
Hi Richard,

Glad to hear you enjoyed it...Feel free to join in too if you like with your own...

Very well put on the nature of art...

Here's a song that inspired the formation of Greenpeace...It's a beautiful one by one of my favorite artists (and possibly favorite), Don McLean (he was was the one referred to in the song "killing me softly"). I like how he puts unexpected but subtle and sincere life into each verse...Such true care...

Listen to it streamed from his website: . Another beautifully poignant one streaming at his site is Orphans of Wealth...

Every thread of creation is held in position
by still other strands of things living.
In an earthly tapestry hung from the skyline
of smouldering cities so gray and so vulgar,
as not to be satisfied with their own negativity
but needing to touch all the living as well.

Every breeze that blows kindly is one crystal breath
we exhale on the blue diamond heaven.
As gentle to touch as the hands of the healer.
As soft as farewells whispered over the coffin.
We're poisoned by venom with each breath we take,
from the brown sulphur chimney and the black highway snake.

Every dawn that breaks golden is held in suspension
like the yoke of the egg in albumen.
Where the birth and the death of unseen generations
are interdependent in vast orchestration
and painted in colors of tapestry thread.
When the dying are born and the living are dead.

Every pulse of your heartbeat is one liquid moment
that flows through the veins of your being.
Like a river of life flowing on since creation.
Approaching the sea with each new generation.
You're now just a stagnant and rancid disgrace
that is rapidly drowning the whole human race.

Every fish that swims silent, every bird that flies freely,
every doe that steps softly.
Every crisp leaf that falls, all the flowers that grow
on this colourful tapestry, somehow they know.
That if man is allowed to destroy all we need.
He will soon have to pay with his life, for his greed.

And from the Baha'i Writings:

Reflect upon the inner realities of the universe, the secret wisdoms involved, the enigmas, the inter-relationships, the rules that govern all. For every part of the universe is connected with every other part by ties that are very powerful and admit of no imbalance, nor any slackening whatever...

(Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá", sec. 137, p. 157 and cited in Conservation of the Earth's Resources, sec. 2.1.1)


To appreciate the transformations brought about by the period of history now ending is not to deny the accompanying darkness that throws the achievements into sharp relief: the deliberate extermination of millions of helpless human beings, the invention and use of new weapons of destruction capable of annihilating whole populations, the rise of ideologies that suffocated the spiritual and intellectual life of entire nations, damage to the physical environment of the planet on a scale so massive that it may take centuries to heal, and the incalculably greater damage done to generations of children taught to believe that violence, indecency, and selfishness are triumphs of personal liberty. Such are only the more obvious of a catalogue of evils, unmatched in history, whose lessons our era will leave for the education of the chastened generations who will follow us.

Darkness, however, is not a phenomenon endowed with some form of existence, much less autonomy. It does not extinguish light nor diminish it, but marks out those areas that light has not reached or adequately illumined. So will twentieth century civilization no doubt be assessed by the historians of a more mature and dispassionate age. The ferocities of animal nature, which raged out of control through these critical years and seemed at times to threaten society's very survival, did not in fact prevent the steady unfoldment of the creative potentialities which human consciousness possesses. On the contrary. As the century advanced, growing numbers of people awakened to how empty were the allegiances and how insubstantial the fears that had held them captive only short years before.

"Peerless is this Day," Bahá'u'lláh insists, "for it is as the eye to past ages and centuries, and as a light unto the darkness of the times." In this perspective, the issue is not the darkness that slowed and obscured the progress achieved in the extraordinary hundred years now ending. It is, rather, how much more suffering and ruin must be experienced by our race before we wholeheartedly accept the spiritual nature that makes us a single people, and gather the courage to plan our future in the light of what has been so painfully learned.

(Who's Writing the Future?, )

take care,