Category Archive: Power

HEALTH EMPOWERMENT

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Our current model of health care places the provider, in many cases the physician, as a gatekeeper to access to health.  For whatever historical, political,… Continue reading

Re-Birth of the Clinic

Humanity is on the threshold of the crowning stage in its evolutionary history – its collective maturity, characterized by a unification of the entire human race, manifest through a new world civilization which… Continue reading

San Diego Institute Campaign – Summer 2014

Technology: Good or Bad?

It would be unrealistic to adhere to a retrogressive and romanticized notion of a “simple” life, in which technology is non-existent, and humanity subsists in some type of passively blissful coexistence with nature.… Continue reading

Globalization: Good or Bad?

Friends, listen up. The end of the 20th century discloses to the eyes of humanity a vista of stupendous opportunities and grave perils. Allow me to explain. Some of the more striking phenomena… Continue reading

Is Primary Care Actually Effective?

In the field of emergency medicine, there is an idea called “door-to-balloon” or “time-to-cath”, which is the amount of time that has elapsed from the moment a patient who is having a specific… Continue reading

Destruction of historic Baha’i cemetery underway in Shiraz by Iranian Revolutionary Guards

The Baha’i International Community was shocked to hear of news that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have begun excavation in a historically important Baha’i cemetery in Shiraz. The site is, among other things, the resting… Continue reading

Houston LSA Chair Enjoys Med Center Junior Youth Group, on Sunday April 13th, 2014

The most significant initial contribution of Local Assemblies to the processes of growth was providing encouragement to the believers. This was particularly effective when an expansion of vision had resulted from the participation… Continue reading

Artificial Scarcity & The Baha’i Faith

The Problem . ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY is a term used to describe the condition in which masses of people are deprived of their bare necessities, while wealth, resources, and infrastructure exist in sufficient proportion… Continue reading

The Price of Exclusivity

from a guest author:   A friend and I recently had a fairly common exchange about which show was better – Community or The Office. I argued for The Office, because in my… Continue reading

Thoughts on Health Care

All too common diseases, the vast majority of which are preventable and becoming more prevalent, are not befitting the inherent nobility of a human being.  The imperative of health care is to empower patients… Continue reading

“Concentrations of Wealth” by Michael Karlberg

A recent study by Oxfam provided some striking data regarding growing disparities of wealth and poverty within and between countries around the globe: 50% of the world’s wealth is now owned by 1% of the… Continue reading

Marx, Baha’u’llah, and Suffering

Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole. Along with the constantly diminishing number… Continue reading

Releasing the Deep Reservoirs that Young People Possess

“Throughout the world, across all classes and social groups, there has been a ready response from youth who are invited to examine the forces shaping their society and their role in contributing to… Continue reading

120 years of discourse

A few days ago passed the 120th anniversary of the first mention of the Baha’i Faith in the Western hemisphere.  At last, the spiritual forces released by Baha’u’llah’s Revelation had an “initial conversation”… Continue reading

10% of Humanity’s Population is Young People in India

Putting aside, for a moment, the truth that young people are characterized by having a “desire to bring about constructive change”, by having “a capacity for meaningful service”, by having “all the hope… Continue reading

The Power of Truth

For thousands of years, beginning with the birth of the family – the smallest unit in the scale of human organization – humanity’s evolution has been characterized by a process of integration, which… Continue reading

From the Animator to a World Civilization

The worldwide Baha’i community is dedicated to a systematic long-term process of learning how to translate the principles of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah into reality and engaging more and more people in an… Continue reading

Pedagogy of the Empowered

The Baha’i world has been learning how to use an education program to raise capacity in individuals and populations to take charge of their own spiritual, social, and intellectual development and to build… Continue reading

Authentic Solutions

Authentic solutions to the problems of the world, products of an unjust social order, begin with a sea change in public loyalties. An expanding mass of popular support for a new center of… Continue reading

Collective Reflections

This past weekend, nearly forty individuals gathered together for an exploration of participation in discourse. (See post, Discourse: Session at Bosch)  The aim was to connect everyday conversations – those with neighbors, with… Continue reading

Advent Youth Conference

“In the young people of the world, then, lies a reservoir of capacity to transform society waiting to be tapped.  And the release of this capacity should be regarded by every institute as… Continue reading

Tax Code 101

The top 10 US tax deductions, credits and exclusions ensure that over $12 trillion in tax revenues will be granted to multinational corporations over the next decade. The tax loopholes have been written into… Continue reading

Abdu’l-Baha on Economic Policy

According to Abdu’l-Baha, wealth inequality, can be attributed to the “extreme greed and rapacity of the manufacturers and industrialists.” He furthermore  identifies  the root cause of income disparity as the defunct operations of… Continue reading

Colonial Coercion vs. Corporate Consumerism: Replacing the Stick with the Carrot

About a century ago, in the free world, the ruling classes became aware they couldn’t control the population by force any longer, the spirit of the age was shifting and violence only bred further civil… Continue reading

Prophecy And Policy

The economic recession is linked to a recession in democracy. If we continue this way, we will be ruined by class warfare and the wrath of global warming. We must seek a different… Continue reading

Prioritizing Women: Exigencies of Equality in an Age Transcending Patriarchy

The spiritual planetary civilization that is destined to be born out of the current international, humanitarian, and moral chaos will carry with it a shining jewel of accomplishment – the establishment of absolute… Continue reading

Money, Lies, and Spiritual Solutions

Since the housing market crash of 2008 we have heard it said that the economy is recovering. Who, I wonder are the people who are actually recovering? Let us look into what the… Continue reading

The Structure of Future Scientific Revolutions

Science is in its infancy. It will evolve, change, and grow until it achieves a more mature form. To date, the human experience suffers from an underdeveloped understanding of the nature and scope… Continue reading

Summary Ridvan 2013 Message: Growth and Discourse, A Dynamic Coherence

Paragraphs: 1- “The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. Incline your ears, O friends of God, to the voice of Him Whom the world hath wronged, and… Continue reading

Inside Those Suffering Eyes: The Us and Them Dichotomy

Those who wish to make a positive impact on the world are faced with a paradox born of the very privilege that motivates them to help others. They are at once the beneficiary of oppressive… Continue reading

Development: a Critique

It seems like development projects in the 70’s thought of themselves as Agent Smith showing up at the beginning of the Matrix where the local police are having trouble dealing with Trinity. The… Continue reading

Weapons – A Statistical Update

It was said:  “It hath been forbidden you to carry arms unless essential” “beyond that which is necessary to insure the internal security of … countries.” Good “people need no weapons of destruction, inasmuch… Continue reading

Trickle Down Fail

The sequester decreased federal investments in national infrastructure resulting in lay-offs and more unemployment. Only 88k jobs were created in march — the least jobs created per month in the past 9 months.… Continue reading

Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth

National and Regional Training Institutes throughout the world offer a course called Ruhi Book 5, “Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth,” designed for the training of “Animators” who mentor youth between the ages… Continue reading

New World Order

Corrupt incentives drive people’s contribution to the public discourse. Politicians, businessmen, financiers, are all guilty. The discourse no longer represents an honest viewpoint of reality, the dominant slogans on TV and radio are… Continue reading

Marx: From Beyond the Grave

The global economy is now in a downward spiral, unemployment is at record highs in country after country, national debt is paralyzing governments, incomes have stagnated for a majority of workers — suddenly… Continue reading

What Do You Call Capitalized Gains But Communized Losses?

The spike in income inequality in the U.S. in recent decades is due to systemic injustices at the level of policy and institution structure for over 40 years. Incomes for the bottom 90… Continue reading

What is the Definition of Capitalism?

I didn’t know it was called capitalism to work for someone else’s money. I thought capitalism was the harder you work the more money you earn. In fact, i was told communism is… Continue reading

Are You Working for Someone Else’s Money?

GDP has doubled in the past 30 years, yet workers wages haven’t even kept up with inflation, let alone increased. The 1.9% increase in wages was  surpassed by inflation in 2012 marking the 40th… Continue reading

Monarchy AND Democracy?

Assault rifle ban dead in the Senate. Monsanto protected from lawsuits by congressional legislation. 50 K-12 schools closed in Chicago while corporate profits at all time high. Yet, Obama speaks in Israel on… Continue reading

Unemployment and Religion

No one looks for the source of economic problems in spiritual matters. Likewise, no one looks for solutions to economic problems through spiritual means. Unemployment is the self-claimed most important economic problem of… Continue reading

Capitalism vs Corporatism

Dow Jones is at record high; corporate profits are too. The real estate crisis is over, but most people in the united states still seem to be in financial difficulties. Household incomes in… Continue reading

Framework that Shapes the Baha’i Approach to Political Involvement

For decades, the Universal House of Justice has been nurturing the development of the Baha’i community in Iran, guiding them through their persecution and assisting them to recognize the significance of their sacrifice… Continue reading

Ninety-Five Conferences will be Convened

Topic Outline: (by paragraph) Summary Youth Saviors 95 Conferences will be Convened Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) ¶1    Summary Civilization as we know it is characterized by a culture of rational self-interest and a value… Continue reading

In the Masses Lies the Key

Some facts are based on principle, others follow from empirical evidence. The economic and social order of the industrial world no longer considers universal welfare the object of its deliberations and actions. This… Continue reading

The World of Man: The Rape of Women

“…Should anyone deliberately take another’s life, him also shall ye put to death…” The world of man is a terrifying place. A world constructed on violent notions of masculinity. A world where power… Continue reading

Education and Liberation

Some people think education is an act of depositing facts, in which the students are the receptacle and the teacher is the banker. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues lectures and makes deposits… Continue reading

Mental Illness and Collective Responsibility

Mental illness is not responsible for mass shootings. Removing guns from society would prevent mass shootings, but guns aren’t responsible for mass shootings. A desire for mass suffering is at play. What causes… Continue reading

The Difficulty with School

Kings

Disproportionate access to education and employment opportunities for a privileged minority deprives society of the labor and intellectual potential of the masses. From among the privileged, certain members may seek to join the… Continue reading

Economic Mirages

Disproportionate access to nutritious diets, quality housing, industry-recognized education, employment opportunities, and healthcare services would not in itself sow the seeds of rebellion were it not for the possessiveness of the privileged over their resources.… Continue reading

Spiritual Re-Education and the Power of the Masses

In discourse, thought, reflection and action are intimately interdependent.  Action is coherent only when it is not merely rote but also consultative, that is, when it is not dichotomized from reflection. Reflection, which is… Continue reading

Summary of 14 November Message

Paragraph#: 1. Learning sites and associated clusters (31 in total) contain half the current junior youth groups and participants. 2. Universal youth response to serve as animators. Ruhi 5 releases reservoirs of commitment to social change.… Continue reading

Empowerment, Oppression, and Social Order

Extreme socio-economic inequalities of access and opportunity result in privileged vs. oppressed classes. The oppressed, over time, adapt to the structure of domination under which generations languish and become resigned to it. The status quo… Continue reading

Unity, Communism, and Change: The Principle, the Boogie-Man, and the Future

Today it seems that the message for change is articulated by people who believe in the unity of races, equality of genders, and institutional intervention on behalf of social and economic justice. These people also hold… Continue reading

Climate Change and Political Partisanship: Why is the Truth So Divisive?

Every intelligent mind that evaluates the causes for global warming concludes that human-induced green-house gas emissions are responsible for Earth’s atmospheric average temperature increases. The only people who disagree with this are fringe… Continue reading

Summary: Ridvan 2012 Message

Paragraph#: 1. Abdu’l-Baha’s Temple-ground piercing Centenary. Diverse participants then and now. 2. Divine civilization beyond mere adjustments to present order. 3. Erroneous assumptions of human nature, justified by failings, disallow spiritual potential. 4.… Continue reading

Summary of August 9th Message

Paragraph#: 1. 10 new Regional Councils (RC’s). 5-Year Plan messages foundation of action and study. Familiarity with dynamics of growth increases with core activities. 2. Dichotomy of neighborhood and centralized children’s classes (CC) transcended. 2 Junior Youth… Continue reading

Lamps of Truth and Purity

http://educationunderfire.com/ More than ten thousand souls were slain, and a great multitude of women and children, left without protector or provider, dispersed and confounded, they were trodden down and destroyed. This occurrence was… Continue reading

The Universe is Pregnant

The universe is pregnant with these manifold bounties – bounties mysteriously emerging from the intricate interplay between the micro-cosmic visions of various actors on the world stage, each pursuing their own selfish advantage,… Continue reading

Discourse and Politics: Blood in the Arteries of Governance

Discourse on the following topics has brought these themes to the point of being reconceptualized. Certain foundational principles have emerged and crystallized from ongoing discourse. Principles we now believe in in a new way… Continue reading

Can Debate Lead to Truth?

Is it possible that a “debate” leads us, the listeners and watchers, to truth? Can a mode of dialogue such as contestational or confrontational debate assist others and people interested in the issues… Continue reading

Progressive Revelation: Historiography and Civilization Dynamics

The endowment which distinguishes the human race from all other life forms is summed up in the reality known as the human spirit, or the rational soul. Of this soul, the diverse faculties… Continue reading

Beyond Political Partisanship

Three Protagonists and the Life of Society Prosperity is the goal for mankind. As individuals and as a collective. To govern large groups of individuals congregated into a collective, as in a metropolis or… Continue reading

Building the Capacity to Build Capacity

When one examines social structures, processes, and relationships, one can identify numerous factors that influence them all.  Yet one that is a never-changing and ubiquitous factor upon which ultimately depends the efficacy of… Continue reading

Alternative Elections

The idea of humanity as one, interconnected, interdependent, social body implies that each person is born into this world as a trust of the whole.  The role of governance, then, comes as an… Continue reading

Governance and Discipline

How does the conception of power from the last few posts shape thoughts regarding governance?  Currently, because our society’s structures and relationships are dominated by self-interested expressions of power, governance is viewed as… Continue reading

Beyond Modernism and Post-Modernism

Historically and currently, the relationship between power and knowledge has been strained and complex, to say the least.  Recently, “modernism” – which has constructed systems of knowledge around truth-claims about social reality –… Continue reading

Neuromuscular Power

Operating under the assumptions that human beings, by nature, are cooperative and not competitive, and that there are spiritual sources of power that can unleash the latent capacities of individuals towards contributing to… Continue reading

Structures of Contest

With the understanding that the human being is a potential instrument for the expression of spiritual powers and capacities within social realty, just as a lump of iron has the potential for the… Continue reading

Spiritual Magnetisim

Spiritual sources of power and capacity are relatively more intangible than material sources; they nonetheless exist and exert influence just the same.  One way to discuss their dynamics and learn how to draw… Continue reading

Spiritual Sources of Power

The conventional analysis of the role of power in society has only focused on material sources of power.  The discourse of this blog acknowledges that civilization has both a material and spiritual dimension,… Continue reading

Power as Capacity

The development of a world civilization requires a transformation such as humanity has not yet experienced – both of society and of human consciousness.  Questions naturally arise, then, regarding the power necessary for… Continue reading

Discourse, Education, and the Collective

Capacity building requires forums in which space has been created for learning about the betterment of society. Open forums for discourse can accompany and assist undergraduate students through their four years of university studies. Through… Continue reading

The Stimulus of the New

Medical treatment of drug addicted patients involves assessment of abuse, addiction, and tolerance. Consumerism is an addiction. Commodities, physiques, and sensations are its drug of choice; corporations the drug lord; advertising the dealer. The mystique… Continue reading

Education: The Driver of Social Transformation

In reference to human potential it has been said, “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to… Continue reading

Global Learning

A culture of learning that operates through study, consultation, action, and reflection, depends on empowerment and capacity building on the level of both the individual and the institutions of society. Individually, all are… Continue reading

A Culture of Learning

The choice to adopt assumptions with the intention of operationalizing them does indeed entail challenges – overcoming habits of mind, resisting corrosive social forces, understanding the dynamics of change, etc – however, the… Continue reading

Fanaticism and Ridicule: Science and Religion

Currently, there are some who resist the reconceptualization of science and religion.  They fragment science and religion, and dismiss one for the other, claiming that only one or the other has led to humanity’s successes. How often… Continue reading

Crisis of Knowledge

The advancement of a civilization aiming to achieve a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of reality recognizes that science and religion are the two reciprocal knowledge systems that impels its… Continue reading

Science and Religion

All human beings have spiritual capacities that can be revealed to contribute to humanity’s development and betterment.  This process of empowerment occurs through access to knowledge, both self-knowledge and knowledge of reality.  This… Continue reading

Exploitation and Oppression

The processes of development have adopted values driven by economic growth, values that often view all things as means to a narrow-minded end, values that reduce an individual’s identity to a producer, consumer,… Continue reading

Materialism

Today’s vision of betterment is dogmatically materialistic.  The interpretation of reality that progress equals economic development, and that people’s happiness would only be the result of better health, food, education, living conditions, etc.,… Continue reading

The Centrality of Knowledge

The advancement of civilization is propelled through increases in knowledge, as has been mentioned multiple times in previous posts.  Every human being is a protagonist of humanity’s maturity, and all can contribute through… Continue reading

Love, Power, Justice

Just as the physical world has laws and functions in ways that reveal underlying patterns, so the spiritual world has laws and patterns that can be observed and understood. We can observe that… Continue reading

Champion of Justice

Knowledge of human nature is essential in championing the cause of justice. Ontologically, human beings are dual-natured – there is capacity for egoism and altruism, competition and cooperation; in short, there is a… Continue reading

Advertising

Let us take advertising as an example of social forces that cause oppression through distortion of self-knowledge.  Advertising, a euphemism for propaganda, mutilates our conceptions of reality.  Images presented to youth, at a… Continue reading

Oppression

One of the major causes of injustice and oppression is lack of knowledge and perpetuation of ignorance.  This is done through words, actions, and policies of self-interested governments, leaders, corporations, media, clergy, etc. … Continue reading