Wednesday, November 27, 2013

All I know is that I have to write this stuff down to get it out of my head

                                                    The Mathematician
                         There was a man with a head filled with numbers
                          But the numbers brought him no happiness
                          The more numbers he gathered
                          The more sadder he became
                           Many a friend tried to help him
                           The philosopher, the scholar, the doctor
                            All offered wisdom
                            But to no avail
                            He sat crying in a dark room
                            Counting the tears with his forefinger
                            Numbering the days left to him in this world
                            Clutching each number tightly to his chest
                            Then came a knock on his door
                            "Please let me in! I can help you!"
                            "No one can save me. I have only a few numbers left
                             The philosopher, the scholar, the doctor have all tried and failed"
                             "But I am none of those
                              I speak the language of numbers
                              I am a Mathematician like you"
                              "Is this a cruel Joke?
                              Surely your numbers are also slipping through your fingers?
                              And, like me, you will perish counting your tears in a dark room"
                              "All I ask is one moment of your time. Open the door
                               Surely you can spare one moment--one uncounted tear"
                               The door slowly parted
                                A blinding light blinded the mathematician
                                His hands shielded his face
                                "Just listen to the voice of numbers
                                 The only voice you can ever hear
                                 Hold out your hand
                                  I give back to you the one moment you gave me
                                 Each morning when you wake
                                 Cut the moment in half again
                                 Do this every morning
                                 And you will never run out of numbers
                                 You will never run out of numbers
                                 You will never perish
                                 Remember and tell others
                                 To the philosopher, I am the Philosopher
                                 To the scholar, I am the Scholar
                                  To the doctor, I am the Doctor
                                  To the motherless child, I become the mother
                                  To the lonely, I become the Comforter
                                   To those lost in darkness
                                    I become the Blinding Light

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My brother's visions

I wonder if my brother's visions are related to my mother's visions? Is there a genetic link--once again more questions than answers. My brother was a loner with a capital "L". For example, he loved to play chess on a high level, but with a computer. My mother liked to frequently call him from Maine so he had the phone removed. He figured she could reach him at work. He subscribed to the Woody Allen philosophy of being part of a group. Woody said that he wouldn't join any organization that would have him as a member. I tell you this because he would be the least likely individually to attach himself to a belief wider than his outstretched hands. We would talk about God and religion--about being a Baha'i. He wasn't against it and perhaps believed there was some truth to the faith of his mother and brother, but there was no personal connection.Toward the end of his life he began to have visions when he slept. After one vision , he described a scene that reminded me of Baha'u'llah's home in Acca. It was like I was back reliving my two pilgrimages of years ago and visiting Bahji. He said Baha'u'llah was sitting at a desk writing and talking to him in an unknown language. Although he didn't know what the words meant, he still understood clearly what Baha'u'llah was saying. I have no memory of him explaining what the conversation was about. I think I would recall if he did. I always got the feeling that he was holding back for reasons that were private. Maybe he thought I would not understand. He did believe and would tell others that his brother was slow. I was and still am slow in many ways. I certainly could not do what he did like not go to physics class at RIT because it was too early in the morning and then read the text book the night before the final and pass. He became a firm believer in Baha'ullah, but felt no compunction to be part of the Baha'i community. I asked him why he didn't read any Baha'i books and he said if he needed to know anything it would come to him in a dream. I was puzzled and wanted an example. He usually wouldn't share much but explained that he didn't know where he stood in relation to Baha'u'llah. He asked the question and that night he had a dream of Abdu'l-Baha, the son and spiritual heir of Baha'u'llah. Ritchie said he was driving his car and came upon a long procession of cars at an intersection. He was about to break in and go the front when Abdu'l-Baha appeared  standing in the road and said he would have to wait because Baha'u'llah was in the lead car and no one was allowed to go ahead of Him. As I said , being a loner, he rarely shared these visions and had no interest in convincing anyone that they were true. He did tell me toward the end of his life that he knew what his job was going to be in the next world. I guess I'll find out in a few years--maybe its helping out slow brothers. His experience reminded me of a Hadith.  I'm paraphrasing, but it goes something like, "If you take one step toward Him, He will run toward you." . We like to believe that the reaching out is all done by us and maybe sometimes it is, but for some who can't seem to reach out, He runs toward them. I'm relying on old memories recalled by an old brain so take all of that into consideration when you read this. I'm sure I will meet him again and he will correct me in a kind way because he knows I'm slow.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dr. Mary's Pilgrimage and vision-1970

I'll try to set the scene for this story. The time is late Dec., 1970. My mother is at the pilgrim house which is a very short distance from the Shrine of the Ba'b which is situated about half way up Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.. She is with a small group of pilgrims who are taking turns answering a question put to them by Hand of the Cause of God, Paul Haney. The question was, "How did they find Baha'u'llah?". This is my mother's answer.
" When it came to my turn I told how I had a vision when I was five years old at the home I am now living in 125 So Chestnut St, Beacon, N.Y. which I own. I was playing in the dirt on the side of the house. Every once in a while I would look up at Mt. Beacon which I liked. All at once a gold door opened in the mountain and a woman came out of this door. She stood there holding a white callalilly in her right hand. She was wearing a veil and long dress. Biblical type of a woman. She smiled and smiled. I got up and went to get my mother. She did not want to come as she was entertaining her girl friend on the front porch, but I insisted she come and talk to the pretty lady. She finally turned left walking slowly had her face turned to me and opened another gold door in the mountain. She looked back for the last time her face was so warm her face was so radiant. She beckoned to me then the door closed. The mountain was once more a mountain. From that day til today I said I do not know what that vision meant. He (Paul Haney?) smiled and said nothing. Now all of us were taken to to the Shrine as we started up the path.You could not write your feelings on paper. We got closer and closer to the Shrine of the Ba'b. How can a mere human describe the inner feeling. Paul Haney went to the threshold and placed his forehead on it. I went along side of him and down I went on my knees. A force was so strong I wept and wept and couldn't stop. I prayed for a cleansing of myself to become selfless in servitude to God. Let me be a hollow reed. I asked forgiveness for all the wrong things I have done. The power was tearing me apart. I had to back off from the threshold and got into a corner and cried and cried. Everyone was was crying so. Prayers were said then we all backed out. And then we went into the Shrine of Abdu'l-Baha. Then it hit me--the two gold doors to Baha'u'llah. 48 years I wondered what it meant. The spiritual force was so great I was forced to go away from there.I had to go back into a corner. The tears went down the wall. I was touching-could not break away from the wall.Prayers were said--a Persian woman chanted. We finally came out. I was so weak I could hardly get back to the pilgrim house. We all once more sat around the room. Finally, I said to Dr. A. Furatan now I know the two gold doors to Baha'u'llah. He said yes that is true. You are fortunate to have this. He asked us to write down things like this so persons in the future will be able to read this."