reflections on one year as a Baha’i

8 Qawl 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)
Soundtrack in my head: Kiltarten Road, “Carol of the Field Mice”

Reflecting on my one year has a Baha’i seems like the appropriate thing to do for my final NaBloPoMo post. It’s snowing out on this quiet afternoon, I have a Christmas CD on, and I’m in the mood for writing. (And not forcing myself to post, as I’ve sometimes done this month, with occasionally sloppy results.)

I’ve gone through many spiritual transitions in this lifetime. I have been initiated into three different religions. I was initiated as a Pagan in 1992, joined Mahikari in 1996, and I signed the declaration card to become a Baha’i on 19 November 2007. But the first of these three religions that I seriously explored was actually the Baha’i Faith. I was introduced to it nineteen years before I signed the card—nineteen years to the month. This blog post details how I discovered the Baha’i Faith as a student at the University of Illinois and some information regarding the months leading up to my declaration a year ago.

In August 2007 I dusted off and started to re-read a copy of Baha’u’llah and the New Era by J.L. Esslemont—a book which I’d received nineteen years earlier from the Urbana IL Baha’is. After I started reading the book, it took me only a month to decide that I wanted to leave the spiritual path of Mahikari that I’d been involved with—and I was quite sure I wanted to join the Baha’i Faith. But I gave myself two more months to decide. whether to become a Baha’i. I needed to make sure that I was doing more than just joining a religion that was Not Mahikari. I read more books after the Esslemont book–”Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah,” “The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah,” the Kitab-I-Aqdas, and “The Baha’i Faith, The Emerging World Religion” by William S. Hatcher.

What was attracting me to the Faith? I saw much intelligence in the Baha’i writings. I saw a lot of balance—I could see that it was not a religion for the fanatical. I liked the fact that there was no clergy and that there was a minimum of ritual. I think one thing that helped sell me on the Faith was a quote in the book by William S. Hatcher that talked about how each little Baha’i community is a little experiment in creating the world society that we want to create. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of this effort. The beauty of the Birth of Baha’u’llah celebration in early November sealed the deal for me.

So what has it been like for me in my first year as a Baha’i?

In a post earlier this year, I used the metaphor of a relationship to describe my reasons for leaving Mahikari, and I think it might be a suitable simile here, too.

Signing the card was, in effect, like a marriage. The weeks and months leading up the signing of the card were a time of excitement, as was the immediate time after signing the card. I think one has to be careful of this excitement, however. Even then, I knew that some of the excitement I had for the Faith was in the thrill of change, and that the novelty would eventually wear off. I had my honeymoon, and then afterwards, the rest of my Baha’i life began.

Many aspects of the Faith were no big deal for me. I got into the habit of saying my obligatory prayers. It was no big deal for me to give up drinking—indeed, my body is still thanking me a year later. My Sunday mornings acquired a nice ritual that started with coffee at a cafe near the Baha’i Center, followed by Baha’i devotionals at the center, and journal writing my reflections at the cafe both before and after the Baha’i devotionals.

I often have found it hard to wrap my mind around just what the Baha’i Faith is. That’s something that would indeed take years for anyone, of course. I knew enough about the basics of the Baha’i Faith, but I often asked myself just what made the Baha’i Faith different from other religions beyond its honoring of of other major world religions. As such, that has been a challenge sometimes.

But the things that led to my departure from Mahikari also left me quite skeptical of religious organizations in general. I’ve seen what Mahikari has done to some people and it’s quite saddening and disturbing to me. But little of what bothered me in Mahikari is present in the Baha’i Faith. Nevertheless, I think I’ve often had my guard up when it comes to being accepting of religion, often drawing a distinction between serving God and serving religious organizations.

Many Baha’is have said that the biggest test for a Baha’i is in dealing with some of the other Baha’is. I certainly have been tested a bit by various individuals in the Faith. Not so much in Madison—Madison Baha’is tend to be a level-headed, balanced bunch of people. However, I did encounter some fanaticism online among some bloggers. The solution to this problem was actually quite simple—I stopped reading those blogs. I concluded that they really did not represent what the Baha’i Faith was about.

There are other Baha’i blogs I like a lot—starting with Sliding Thoughts and Lay-C. I’ve gotten to know these bloggers a bit and their friendship has been precious to me—as is the friendship of a Baha’i in Albuquerque whom I’ve been getting to know. Last but not least are the friendships I’ve been developing here in Madison with fellow Baha’is.

Ever since I encountered the Baha’is two decades ago, I’ve had a positive opinion of the Baha’i Faith—that there is something a bit different about Baha’is. After a year in the Faith, that impression really hasn’t changed.

Aside from the other people within the Faith, the other thing that will make a difference for me in the Baha’i Faith is my own effort. Going back to the relationship simile, there is a certain point where I’ve had to decide to make my relationship with the Baha’i Faith work. It takes work. As such, I’ve been thinking of ways to get more involved, and have begun some discussions with a few people in the local Baha’i community about it.

So, after a year, I can say that yes, I’m in the right place and right where I am supposed to be with the Baha’i Faith. I think I’m starting to get some clarity as to how I want to contribute to the Faith. We’ll see how that will affect my reflections at the end of Year Two of my faith.

the experience of God?

8 Qawl 165 B.E. (Baha’i calendar)

Soundtrack in my head:  Bob Dylan, “With God On Our Side”

I must admit that I was a bit nervous about posting that I felt the presence of God while in the Baha’i Temple yesterday.  There’s the notion of believing in God, but it feels like I’m walking a razor-thin line when I say that I’ve experienced God.  That kind of stuff can get you in trouble.  As such, I feel like I need to expound more on this subject.

On one hand, there are people who don’t believe in God at all, so for them, if I tell them that I’ve felt the presence of God, I’m automatically being delusional.  Then there’s the very real and very legitimate concern that some people, throughout history, have claimed to have spoken with God and used that claim to justify questionable and sometimes even heinous things.  Certainly there have been no shortage of people during wartime who have been convinced that God has been on their side.  There are also many people who believe in God, but don’t think that God communicates directly with people. 

I can say that I’ve experienced the presence of God to a number of differing degrees.  I feel that I’ve directly felt God’s presence maybe four or five times in my life.  During these times, I’ve been awed or overwhelmed by the feeling of a loving presence.  Three of those times have been inside the Baha’i Temple.  A fourth time was in November 1989 when I was taking one of my evening walks along Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles.  At that time, I was considering becoming a Baha’i, and that was probably where I felt the strongest feeling of love, and encouragement. 

I feel one has to be careful when someone says that God has spoken to them.  I do think that there is a real risk of fanciful thinking, or “hearing what one wants to hear.”  There have been a couple of times I’ve had the feeling that God has spoken to me, and once, it was something I didn’t really want to hear.  In that particular case, the full meaning of God’s expectation didn’t become fully clear to me until many years later. Part of the reason is that I wasn’t ready to accept what I was hearing, but I think part of it was also judiciousness and care in not over-interpreting what was happening.

I also believe that there are no coincidences.  In fact when I see a lot of coincidences surrounding one particular thing that is happening in my life, I fully believe that God is guiding or giving arrangements.  For example, the bright rainbow that broke through the dark rolling clouds as I walked to the spot along Lake Monona where I would offer my first Baha’i obligatory prayer–that was unmistakeable. Many people would say that coincidences are coincidences and not too much should be read into them beyond that, but I’ve had too many instances where multiple coincidences occurred surrounding an indvidual situation.  To me, that’s like winning the lottery jackpot twice in one week–at that point, I think it’s logical to deduce that something else is at play.

But even in these cases, coincidences can be easy to misinterpret, and too much can be read into them.  I look at my journals circa 1997 and I see a lot of instances where I wrote “Oh, I think God must be telling me this or that.”  Sometimes I cringe when I look at those journal entries.  Worse is when other people try to tell the person who had the experience what it is they experienced and why. It’s even worse when a member of the clergy does it–that is, frankly, an abuse of one’s station and privilege.  Suggestions as to how to interpret the experience are perfectly okay–sometimes a third person has a perspective that is helpful, but it’s really up to the person who had the experience to interpret it. 

I’m not quite sure what the Baha’i Writings have to say about this subject.  I do know that among our core practices is daily prayer and communion with God.  We also believe in the independent investigation of truth.  I do feel like I’ve been guided a lot in my life, and it’s still not entirely clear exactly where God is taking me on this journey.  I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be–at least in this stage of my spiritual development.

[co-op name] update, part 2

4 Qawl 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head:  The Polyphonic Spree, “Everything Starts at the Seam”

Having contained the prairie fire that was burning over the MCC officers’ opposition to our initial choice of “Wu Wei” as the name of our co-op, I had coffee with the MCC Vice President.

I asked her to share her feelings about the whole course of events surrounding her objection to the “Wu Wei” name and everything that had transpired since.  She shared a lot of things, but what I found most salient and valuable was her reaction as a first generation Chinese-American to the “Wu Wei” name.  She described how her family faced great pressure to assimilate into American culture upon relocating here.  As such, when a mostly Caucasian co-op house chose to adopt a Chinese name, we were, in essence, exercising an option not necessarily available to her family. She acknowledged that we did not intend to be disrespectful, but that our name choice had unintended consequences and effects.

I definitely could see where she was coming from.  And even if I disagreed with her, it’s something I’d still set aside. If someone tells me they are having a negative experiences with something, I’m inclined not to question it in most cases.  I can never claim to be able to put myself fully in someone else’s shoes, and as such I am inclined to validate their feelings and experiences unless I have really good reason not to.

The meeting ended on a very positive note, with both of us feeling like we had been heard, and so we walked to the Board meeting just a few blocks away. 

When I arrived at the meeting, I was surprised to find almost my entire house in attendance at the Board meeting.  I did not expect this.  Apparently some of my housemates felt strongly enough about the issue that they wanted to bring it to the MCC Board’s attention and make a statement at the meeting, even though the issue wasn’t on the agenda.  I felt that this was more of the “bullhorn” type of communication that I was trying to avoid, but I also knew that I couldn’t dissuade my housemates from being there and making a statement. 

So when each member “checked in” at the meeting (saying their name and house, and how they were doing in general), my house members one by one stated their feelings about the objection raised to our house’s choice of a house name.  I was impressed with the respectful tone of their statements, often focusing on how it felt to receive the communication from the MCC officers.  Some Board members suggested that an agenda item be added to the meeting.  I was worried that the MCC officer I’d just had coffee with would feel like she was being ganged up upon, but to my surprise, she stated that she would like to have the item on the agenda.  I think wanted to get the issue out of the way, and felt that this was as good of an opportunity as any to talk through the issue.

What ensued was a fifteen-minute discussion which was remarkable in its level of respect and openness.  The MCC officer shared her perspective once again, and the housemate who was most enthusiastic about the “Wu Wei” name was humbled and could see where she was coming from.  I had feared the worst, but what ended up happening was a very educational and supportive conversation.  While I was less than thrilled about my housemates showing up to the meeting, I now realized that they needed a greater sense of closure on the matter than I did, and I think all parties got it the closure they were looking for.

So now we’re back to square one on selecting a new name for our co-op house.  But that’s fine.  We’re talking about taking the time we need to make a good decision.  A couple of housemates had been concerned about my less than enthusiastic support for the “Wu Wei” name, and I’m developing a decision-making process that will help ensure that everyone is genuinely excited about the name.  After all, this co-op is our baby, and we all should be happy with the name we choose for the baby.

around the backyard fire pit

2 Qawl 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head:  Love, “Alone Again Or”

I was surprised to learn that the city of Madison allows people to build fires in their backyards–even in the downtown area.  Such a thing would have been unheard of where I was growing up.  Because Madison is a relatively small metropolitan area with relatively low pollution levels, 

When I first heard about this, I was still living in my old co-op house, and I immediately tried to persuade my housemates to put a fire circle in the backyard..  My old co-op has a big garden space in the back that has been largely unused.  But I couldn’t get them too excited.

Living in this neighborhood, I frequently smell wood smoke–more often than I have in other places I’ve lived.  I’ve also seen some rather huge bonfires in people’s back yards and sometimes even front yards.  I’ve looked at some of these fires and said to myself, “This can’t be legal.”

I have a housemate who surfs Craigslist religiously and at one house meeting she presented a proposal to purchase an above-ground fire pit from there.  The price tag was something like $60, and it sounded too good to pass up.  I remember the first time I saw it,  It looked like someone had bred a Weber Grill with a witches’ cauldron.  It was just a little bigger than a grill,  but with short legs.  It had a mesh screen on top, and on the sides it had cut-out holes shaped like stars and crescent moons, with mesh on the inside. 

It was a fairly wam night tonight for November–it was well above freezing–so we decided to give the thing a test run.  For some odd reason, we’ve had a very huge pile of firewood in our backyard along the outside shed.  We gathered a lot of twigs, and pretty soon was able to get it going. It was a pretty decent sized fire.

It felt sort of strange.  We don’t have a very large backyard because of the shed (which actually probably served as a one-car-garage at one point).  The fire pit was placed probably about six feet from the driveway and maybe twelve feet from the back steps.  I kept looking around concerned that we were doing something illegal. 

It didn’t quite have the feel of a campfire in the woods, or a crackling fireplace,  but it was relaxing nevertheless.   We will need to build some benches to sit on–particularly if we decide to have winter fires.  Maybe we’ll have our house meetings out here in the warmer months. 

In any case, it’s a nice community-building device.  It’s an excuse to get together and hang out.

[co-op name] update, part 1

19 Qudrat 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head:  Bob Marley “Wait In Vain”

In a previous post I talked about how I nullified our co-op house’s decision to call itself “Wu Wei” after MCC officers expressed concern about the cultural appropriation and racist aspects of the name.  There were many strong feelings on both sides of this conflict.  I ran into both the MCC President and Vice President in the ensuing couple of days after they raised the issue via email, but was not in a mood to talk to either of them about it.  They probably weren’t either.

We talked about the objections to the name change at the house meeting, though almost half the house was absent from that meeting.  We lacked quorum, and as such, could not make any official decisions.  But we talked about the issue and we agreed that we should both talk with the concerned individuals one-on-one and also develop a unified house statement which, unfortunately, we could not develop that evening.

I’m a big believer in developing one-on-one relationships with the people I work with, and use those relationships to develop support for initiatives and also work through any problems.  One thing which I think is a real failing of some houses in MCC is the tendency to publicly shame fellow co-opers.  I learned a long time ago that if I had an issue with a housemate, the best way to raise the issue was to talk about it with them one-on-one, because it can be a real shock, and really emotionally draining to have someone surprise you with a public chastisement.  This, unfortunately, also happens in a lot of the MCC politics between the houses, too, and so I try to do my best to avoid that.

On Monday, I sent a text message to the VP, who is a first-generation Chinese-American, asking her if we could meet for coffee.  She agrees to meet before the MCC Board meeting on Wednesday. 

Monday night I was surprised to discover that the gay and lesbian group in MCC posted a message on an unofficial MCC message board protesting the MCC officers’ action of terming the “Wu Wei” name racist.  While the statement was not overly disrespectful, I knew that this message board could quickly turn into a bash-fest, and indeed, one person did post a follow-up message bashing the officers.  A third person respectfully asked what happened and I knew I had to respond.  So I tried to report, as objectively as possible about the email the officers sent and my house’s reaction to it.  But, while I thanked the gay and lesbian group for their good intentions,  I also raised strong objections to what I referred to as “protest-sign communication” within a community setting and said that “using a bullhorn when you’re within earshot of the person will only cause the person to cover their ears.” I said that we were trying to resolve this issue and asked that this be respected.

That stopped the conversation.  The person from the gay and lesbian group who made the post exchanged a couple of emails with me afterwards, feeling a little defensive, but he also got where I was coming from, though he expressed concern that this was a situation that all of MCC needed to know about.

This is turning into a very long post, so I’m going to cut it off here, and go into part 2 later…

listen, the snow is falling

15 Qudrat 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head: Galaxie 500, “Listen, the Snow Is Falling”

I walked outside my old co-op house at about 7 p.m. tonight and was delighted to see cascades of snowflakes falling from the sky.  The streetlamps lighting up downtown Madison revealed night air filled with little moving white dots that felt as alive as they were quiet. They were sticking to the ground and making lawns, cars, and rooftops white, but not really accumulating much beyond that. 

It was a beautiful sight.  I’m not sure what it is about snowfall that is so peaceful.  Maybe it’s the whiteness that seems so pure.  Maybe it’s the way that snowflakes often float slowly to the ground.  Maybe it’s how snow makes little in the way of noise as it comes down. 

When you really think about it, it’s interesting how the weather evolves from summer to winter.  September and October offer a welcome respite from the heat.  As October grows colder, though, it seems as if she makes it up to us with the beautiful fall colors.  The colors remained here in southern Wisconsin fairly late–really only up until about a week ago. A lot of people complain bitterly about November, but I find it peaceful, as I described in a post a couple of days ago

It feels like snow–at least the early snowfalls–are another way Nature recompenses us for putting up with the cold weather.  Sometimes I think of snowfall as healing tears–that Nature is crying with us but that it is the type of crying that makes us feel better, that allows us to let go.  At other times, snow feels like a celebration–think confetti coming down during a ticker-tape parade.  Maybe it’s simply the case that snow is beautiful when it first falls.

I hope I will be able to see more of the beauty of winter this coming season.  For the previous six winters, I’ve lived in downtown Madison on a street so heavy with traffic that we’d occasionally see significant traffic backups, and the presence of so many cars took away from the enjoyment of winter.  The snow got dirty quickly.  Now I live on a quiet street where cars drive through only occasionally. I have a feeling that when it snows, things will stay whiter, longer, and create a more peaceful and beautiful blanket across the land.

O…M…G…

3 Qudrat 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head: The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin”

It is taking a while for it to fully register what has just happened.

Last night, I ended up going to another co-op house a few blocks down from us where they were having an election returns party.  My housemates and I got there at about 8:45 p.m. 

Members of the co-op were projecting websites and TV images on a large sheet hung up at the back of their dining room.  I was already surprised at the makeup of the electoral map.  The New York Times page said that Obama had won Pennsylvania and that Democrats had already picked up four Senate seats. 

Still, I expected it to be a rather slow night, just as the 2000 and 2004 elections had been.  As we switched through various channels on network TV, most of them were showing similar electoral maps, with Barack Obama having earned 206 electoral votes and John McCain 138.  This remained unchanged for awhile.  As the local 10:00 news came on the CBS station, we were curious as to how the news would be presented.

The newscasters shared some local election results, mentioned a couple of news stories, but then the local newscasters said they were going back to the network to announce some “momentous news.”  I figured it was that Obama had won in the state of Virginia, the center of the old Confederacy and a state that hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. 

Katie Couric came on–however, she did not announce that CBS was projecting Obama to win in Virginia.  She announced that they were projecting that he would win the election. And then all of the new anchors and pundts began talking as if it were a fait accompli.  Then a new electoral map appeared which showed Barack Obama with 283 electoral votes, past the 270 needed to win.  It was about 10:10 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Jaws dropped all around the room.  We looked at each other, struggling to believe that it was actually happening.  I thought at first that perhaps CBS was pushing the envelope with its prediction, but a few minutes later, a New York Times headline said that all of the major networks were projecting an Obama victory.  Just as we continued to try to absorb what was happening, still wondering if this all could be true, John McCain came on and graciously offered a concession speech.  It was about 10:30 p.m. 

Up until this point, the gathering felt a little bit more like a party, but now people were riveted to the TV.  Several people were fighting back tears of joy.  Now this was starting to feel real, and we waited in anticipation for Obama’s acceptance speech.

It was funny for me as a former Chicagoan to watch the festivities in Grant Park.  I could identify the various buildings lit up around the park, Sometimes I thought I recognized faces in the crowd–perhaps I’d seem them on subways or on the street during the many years I worked in the Loop.  I guess Chicago will always be a part of me–how can it not be after I’ve lived thirty of my years there?  But it’s not my home anymore, nor do I see it being my home in the future. 

I left Chicago two years before Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.  I don’t remember much of his political career before then–he never made that strong of an impression on me. I was highly skeptical when his name first began circulating in the media as a potential presidential contender.  I am still skeptical but he has grown on me.  Let there be no doubt–he is a political insider.  But look at history, and one will see that it’s the political insiders that often make the huge changes.  History provides the strage and people either step up to the occasion or they don’t.  It remains to be seen whether Obama will be a great leader and President, but when I voted for him in the primaries and the general election, I was doing so in part because I’d calculated that he’d be more likely than others to buck the special interests that support him and make independent decisions.  We’ll see if that holds true or not.

After his victory speech, everyone at the party exchanged hugs.  A friend of mine went beyond that and actually dragged people into dancing with her.  When I left the party and walked back to my house, I could hear other people cheering and yelling at various parties around the neighborhood.  My neighborhood is the bluest neighborhood in the bluest city in what is now becoming a more solidly blue state.

Twenty-four hours later, I still have a hard time believing that it’s real.

unexplainable feelings at Feast

1 Qudrat 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack in my head:  The Pretenders, “Boots of Chinese Plastic”

Tonight I went to the Nineteen-Day Feast at the Baha’i Center.  Baha’is hold feasts timed with the first day of each nineteen-day month on the Baha’i calendar.  Lately, I’ve been a little more open about my feelings about the Faith, while acknowledging that they are feelings and not necessarily opinions.  Whenever discussion at the Feast meeting has delved into growth of the Faith, particularly Intensive Programs of Growth, I’ve felt this resistance in me–I have just not quite felt right about it.

I don’t know why that resistance is there.  A big part of expanding the Faith involves increasing the availability of study circles, devotionals held at peoples homes, and of course I see these things as good.  And Baha’is are supposed to be more interested in just sharing about the Baha’i Faith than in actually getting people to declare themselves as Baha’is.

A lot of it probably has to do with an inherent distrust I’ve had of most organized religions.  This skepticism was suspended for a few years when I was in Mahikari, but then I realized that I actually had great reason to be concerned about Mahikari and the way it treats its members–and after raising issues for years about it, I finally gave up and left the organization.  A lot of times I find myself making a distinction between serving God and serving a spiritual organization.

But I need to keep reminding myself that the Baha’i Faith is different, that the path encourages people to independently search after truth.  I know of no other religion that actually encourages children at the age of fifteen to explore what religion they wish to join.  I don’t get the knee-jerk reactions I found in Mahikari whenever I question something.  So yeah, maybe it’s just the ghost of old religions haunting me.

After the Feast meeting I pulled aside a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly and told her about the feelings of resistance I had.  I told her that it very well may be something internal to me, or maybe it’s something that I perceive as lacking.  I told her I didn’t know which it was, that I was open to it being either way, and since these thoughts have been going through my head through several Feasts. I said I thought I should share those feelings, even if I don’t know why I have them.  She was very receptive to what I had to say and acknowledged that thinking about expansion of the Faith was a process and that everyone is in a different place when it comes to that process.  I had a similar discussion with another LSA member last week, and the person was equally receptive.

I do like the Baha’is here in Madison.  I think they are an intelligent and reasonable group of people.  I see little in the way of fanaticism here.  I will just continue to be open to what I see and hear, and hopefully I’ll either be able to explain my feelings of resistance or they’ll just simply go away.

sodium blow-pops in missouri?

19 ‘Ilm 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)

Soundtrack:  Josh Ritter, “Long Yellow Line”

That’s what NaBloPoMo stands for, right?  Na is the chemical symbol for sodium, BloPo has to stand for Blow-Pops, and Mo is the abbreviation for Missouri.  Sodium blow-pops in Missouri?  Well, no.

National Blog Posting Month is an effort to encourage bloggers to post every day for a single month.  It used to be that November was the focus for NaBloPoMo, now any month can be a National Blog Posting Month.  I did my 30 postings in 30 days last November, and now seems the right time for me to do it again.

It’s been a wild few months.  I moved in early September to help start a new co-op. We had to clean up the house, get new furniture, recruit new members,and set up house workjob system.  Our efforts culiminated in a retreat held in Dodgeville at the end of October.  Also during October, I took an Amtrak train to Albuquerque to visit family and a brand new friend.  So November is a time to slow down and reflect.

NaBloPoMo is Rx for lame blog posting habits. One bad habit I can’t shake–even after completing the NaBloPoMo last month–is that I’m a petty perfectionist when it comes toposting on my blog, and as such, things don’t get posted. It was the same bad habit I was trying to lick a year ago. 

I had a lot to write about in November 2007.  Ten days before, I publicly announced my departure from a spiritual organization called Mahikari, and was seriously considering joining the Baha’i Faith.  I wrote quite a bit about what was going on with me with this transition, and it culminated in me making my declaration as a Baha’i on November 19th. 

There’s a lot going on in Steve’s head circa November 2008 as well.  A lot of it is of a somewhat more personal nature, but if you’re nice, I may reveal some of it…