Re: A Retired Internationalist: After 50 Years
Your skepticism, pessimism, perhaps realism is justified and, rather that tackle it point for point which would take a book or two if done well, I will send you a prose-poem I wrote in recent years. It is of some use but, as in all things, it does not tell the whole story. Best wishes down the track....Ron
THE FIRST RAINS
In 1841, British historian Thomas Carlyle described "a man's religion" in terms that best illustrate the base from which I have approached my fellow-man since beginning my adult life in 1962. One needs a framework of understanding when one is involved in the many dialogues of life. The Baha'i writings, of course, have a great deal of helpful insights and one can usually find quotations there to help define the kind of perspective with which to approach one's fellow human beings. But the great intellectual tradition in the west has much to offer as well. Carlyle, for example, writes that:
A man's religion is the chief fact with regard to him.....I do not mean the church-creed which he professes....This is not what I call religion, this profession and assertion....But the thing a man does practically believe...and this is often enough without asserting it even to himself, much less to others; the thing a man does practically lay to heart and know for certain concerning his vital relations to this mysterious universe and his duty and destiny there....This is his religion...his mere skepticism and no-religion....That is in all cases the primary thing for him and creatively determines all the rest. That is what a man is. -Ron Price with thanks to Thomas Carlyle in The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, Richard Noll, Fontana Press, London, 1996, pp.3-4.
This is, I think, the inner man
that many talk about. Meeting
it is no mean trick-a conundrum
as often as not...I say, I say...
I know I did not have the trick
back at the start, a young bloke
out on the weekend trying to
make it pay, as the song says.
I was trying to get my own
emotional life sorted out, then.
By the age of thirty I got
a handle on it, though,
and they made me a tutor
in human relations in Tasmania.
Things were looking good.
I don't think I ever lost it
after that, by the '70s in
Australia somewhere, but
in some ways that was just
a start. It helped to plant
seeds, but the soil was black
and dried and these were
only the first rains,
29 December 2001