Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Art and the elixir of life

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Landscape 2 by artist Honnie Goode

 

It’s an honor to have an excerpt from my novel, The Munich Girl, included as the fiction offering of the latest issue of the arts journal,  e*lix*ir.

The publication is designed to “showcase the work of artists who find inspiration in the Bahá’í revelation and to foster an aesthetic whose key ingredient is the conviction that the mission of art is to inspire, transform, and uplift individuals and communities.”

Editor Sandra Hutchison offers soul-stirring reflection in the issue’s editorial, “Art at the Intersection of the Worlds.”

The words from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that she includes from The Promulgation of Universal Peace embody this theme, and the intent behind the creative efforts that many of us attempt:

“For material civilization is like unto a beautiful body, and spiritual civilization is like unto the spirit of life. If that wondrous spirit of life enters this beautiful body, the body will become a channel for the distribution and development of the perfections of humanity.”

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Photo: Wertheim.de

Sandra writes, “Through the experience of creating art, the artist becomes acquainted with that invisible plane of existence that is just as real and necessary to our survival as the earth on which we plant our feet.”

It’s this sort of inner vision that I attempt to describe in the artist’s statement I was invited to provide:

I seek to uncover the noblest possibilities in the human heart and to discover how history, culture, spirituality, and the natural world shape the journey of the human family.

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Image: Diane Kirkup

The vision of the future that the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh evoke, is one of prosperity and hope, so as a writer of stories, I am alert to every evidence of these I can find, even, perhaps especially, when circumstances may appear dark or chaotic.

More than any other kind of writing I’ve done, book-length fiction requires an absorption that leads me to what must be realized in a story. For me, this is an utterly spiritual experience–to weave together mysterious unseen threads into a reality that the emotions and spirit can recognize as true.

To encounter truth in this way is an experience that transcends this earthly life.”

Find the latest issue of e*lix*ir here: http://www.elixir-journal.org/issue2/


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The age of advantage is over

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     “Today, in an era most of whose pressing problems are global in nature, persistence in the idea that power means advantage for various segments of the human family is profoundly mistaken in theory and of no practical service to the social and economic development of the planet.

     Those who still adhere to it—and who could in earlier eras have felt confident in such adherence—now find their plans enmeshed in inexplicable frustrations and hindrances. IMG_3355

     In its traditional, competitive expression, power is as irrelevant to the needs of humanity’s future as would be the technologies of railway locomotion to the task of lifting space satellites into orbits around the earth.”                               

~ The Prosperity of Humankind

The entire statement is available at:

http://statements.bahai.org/95-0303.htm

Photos courtesy traveling souls Kathy Gilman and Nelson Ashberger.


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Real power, true liberty

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     “Today, in an era most of whose pressing problems are global in nature, persistence in the idea that power means advantage for various segments of the human family is profoundly mistaken in theory and of no practical service to the social and economic development of the planet.

     Those who still adhere to it—and who could in earlier eras have felt confident in such adherence—now find their plans enmeshed in inexplicable frustrations and hindrances. IMG_3160

     In its traditional, competitive expression, power is as irrelevant to the needs of humanity’s future as would be the technologies of railway locomotion to the task of lifting space satellites into orbits around the earth.”                               

~ The Prosperity of Humankind