fifth avenue slush

so I woke up in yet another stranger’s house this morning, in Montreal. actually what was once a little suburb of Montreal called Verdun. Carl, the son of the Bahá’ís I’m staying with in Victoriaville, has interviews here this morning, and since I was coming into town anyway, I drove him in early. but now I don’t have much to do except blog until 6 pm. 😉 not a very well-planned day.

Montreal is a city with lots of character, a character that still seems a little foreign. row housing is something a little new to me. I grew up in the suburbs, where everybody has houses. everything here is apartments. just the whole feeling of the city seems out of my element. I don’t know if I can place it. maybe it’s just because I’m not used to REALLY being in the city, you know, as opposed to living out in the quiet part of town, and taking the bus half an hour to go to university.

I feel like I’m facing a bunch of burly guys who want to beat me up, and it’s for my own good. that’s how life is, isn’t it? you get beat up, but you learn from the pain and discomfort and you start to be able to deal with it better, and eventually overcome it. not that life is full of burly guys who want to beat you up. unless you owe money to the mafia.

hmm, I called Hoda today and we had a discussion about the Ruhi circle that I’m taking, and whether or not I’m losing something by not sticking with one group for the entirety of the study circle. I can understand the concern there. this isn’t just a lecture, where there’s information to be memorized. it’s meant to be a process by which you interact with a group and explore the Bahá’í Writings through consultation — shared learning, perhaps. so I guess the options are, go back to the old group I was in and stick with them through the whole book, or wait for an intensive course that’s coming up in the next month or so. I guess the bottom line is that I’d like to go through the material and have the full experience while trying to use as little gas as possible. there’s never a perfect situation, I guess. there are just situations that work. consultation! that’s how you find the truth. so let’s consult.

chicken soup with chicken heads

Beware my MAGNUM OPUS

el poulet fantastico

so today me and Gaëtane went to drop off a press release about the formation of the Assembly, at La Nouvelle, the local paper. hopefully it’ll appear in next week’s issue! we’ll see.

more tests, more tests, more tests. and I gave myself the goal of filling out that infernal work application form, too. infernal! gadzooks!

I’m hungry. I’m also not feeling a whole lot better than my last entry, although at least somewhat better. trying to live without one’s ego getting in the way is a tall order for a creature born into an egotistical world. and yet we have to at least strive for that, otherwise… well how else are we going to change the world if we don’t start with ourselves?

une peur de vivre

a quiet day today, but I did go out and pick up photos of our newly-formed assembly. they were done pretty quick this time (next day… not 1-hour, but hey, quicker than last time).

I don’t know how often people talk about things like this, but I’m getting the feeling of being far from God. and it scares me.

Do you know what it means to be far from God? I look at it this way: I see God as, among other things, a source of absolute wisdom, mercy and power. God is the one who makes everything run right. It’s up to us to accept or refuse the guidance of the Manifestations of God, because we have been given the capacity to make that choice. Man plans, and God plans, but God is the best of planners. God is also the only one who can understand how the whole thing works. Man will always fall short, because his capacity to understand that which he is a part of is limited to his tiny view of the world. Consider a piston in an engine. It just goes up and down, that’s all it knows. It couldn’t understand — if it indeed could understand anything — that it’s in an engine which drives a car, the purpose of which is to drive a human from point A to point B so it can get its work done. It just lives its life, going up and down. Similarly we live our lives, with its ups and downs. The difference is that we make choices that we think will make our lives run right, because we have that gift of choice. But due to our limited understanding, we don’t really know what will make our lives run right, we just think we know what we need, at the moment. For example, we may think we need to kick someone’s ass, because we need that at the moment. Well, the reality is that that would probably be a stupid thing to do. That extends to planning for the future, too. Anyway, I digress. The point is that we make plans, because we think we know how to make things run right. But only God really knows how to run things right, because the rest of us are inside the machine, trapped by our limited understanding. I started to experience this wierd effect when I decided to start discovering hope, faith, and trust in God. Wierd, inexplicable things happen when you let go of your will and put it in the hands of a Higher Power like that. Things start to work, and you don’t know why. They just work, gloriously well, and things start to happen that make you do doubletakes.

When you’ve experienced this feeling, you start to realize being close to God is a good idea, because it means your life runs more smoothly. So when I talk about being far from God, I mean that I am in a position where I feel I have lost that trust in God, for whatever reason, and I would prefer to follow my own will. And I’m scared, because I know from years of messing up that my will isn’t much good. I feel wrapped up in myself, unable to reach out, held back by my vain belief that I have a plan that is better than God’s.

Please note, once again, that I am not talking about the guy with the long white beard, I am talking about an unknowable essence that words will forever fail to describe, due to the finite capacity of the human brain, but about whom we have been permitted to know through the agency of those Manifestations, the Universal Educators of humanity, such as Bahá’u’lláh, Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, etc.

You know, all of a sudden, I’m not blowing my nose anymore, whereas I have been for the past two weeks almost. I wonder what’s going on here.

cannonball

AUGH my neck hurts. And my shoulders. And my upper back. And my legs are stiff. And I have a headache. There, I’ve registered my complaints, now I can forget about them and get on with business.

yeehaw!

Woohoo — we formed the Local Spiritual Assembly in Victoriaville today! In the AM I drove over to Sherbrooke and played djembe with one of the children there; that was great fun. The folks from Sherbrooke are so fun, especially the youth! I really enjoyed being there, and I’m glad I went. And I arrived back in Victoriaville with plenty of time to spare! So we got together, signed the required forms, and voilá, we formed an Assembly. Cool. Very cool and very spiritual. Afterwards more people came, from the surrounding region, and we ate, socialized, told stories, and had more fun. Cool.

Of course, now I’m tired as all get-out. Daniel needs sleep, badly!