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  • The bridge

    Four months after the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March 1932 another bridge closed in the Baha段 World. The last remnant of the Heroic Age, the treasured Remnant of Baha置値lah, Bahiyyih Khanum, passed to the Great Beyond.(1) The date was 15 July 1932. The Baha段s refer to her as the Greatest Holy Leaf. She was the eldest daughter of Bah癇u値l疉, the Founder of the Baha段 Faith. She is seen by the Baha段 community as one of the greatest women who have ever lived. In some ways she was, indeed, a bridge between the Apostolic, the Heroic, Age of the Baha段 Faith(1844-1921) and its Formative Age, beginning as that latter age did it in 1921 about the same time as the construction began on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    When I saw the TV program 鼎onstructing Australia: The Bridge,(2) and realized that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in March 1932, I could not help but try to write this prose-poem based on what was for me the synchronicity of the building of the bridge and the developments in the Baha'i Faith. -Ron Price with appreciation to: (1)Shoghi Effendi, Baha段 Administration, Bah癇 Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1968, p.187 and (2)鼎onstructing Australia: The Bridge, ABC1, 9:55 p.m. 15 January 2009 and again on 27/1/12 at 12:05-1:05 a.m.

    That bridge, that great arch, defined a city
    and a nation for the world, little did they
    know back then, and little did we know-(1)
    still don稚--how that other bridge to this
    Formative Age from that Heroic Age,
    defined our Faith. I write here of two
    epic stories, incredible feats:.one in
    engineering and the other in the world
    of a new religion with an important role
    to play in unifying human beings, the
    planetizing, globalizing children of men.

    The building of this bridge began as yet
    another construction also began for the
    creation of a national unit of our global
    society庸rom an ingrown, amorphous,
    loosely connected community, enlarged,
    vastly-vastly, well-organized, a bridge to
    the nucleus and pattern of, yes, our world
    society, a building block of a government
    of our future world預nd in the meantime
    part of an Administrative Order so strong
    that it could execute a missionary-program
    on an international scale for decades, yes,
    perhaps centuries to come---and it started...

    ..in the first years, indeed, months of the
    life of that bridge to our Formative Age
    when another bridge was completed in these
    far-off Antipodes. Few appreciated the unique
    part she played in those tumultuous years of
    our Apostolic-Heroic Age due to an unfailing
    sympathy, a tender solicitude, and assiduous
    cultivation as shield in social relationships,
    her magnanimity, her deep-rooted optimism,
    her serene countenance, her sensitive heart,
    her meekness and fortitude and the steeling
    of her energies which even her most intimate
    associates failed to suspect or appreciate.......

    That bridge was Bradfield痴 dream without(2)
    which there would have been no bridge, and
    Bahiyyih Khanum was part of her Father痴
    dream, His Wondrous Vision, constituting
    the brightest emanation of His mind and
    the fairest fruit of the fairest civilization
    that our world and its people have seen.(3)

    1 Janet Khan, Prophet痴 Daughter, The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, Outstanding Heroine Of The Bahai Faith, Baha段 Pub. Trust, 2005. This book began to help us appreciate this 礎ridge and provide more information to the little that we knew. This was the first full-length biography of one of the greatest women in world religious history. Her towering spiritual strength offers readers an unrivalled model of sacrifice and service to one's faith. Born in Tehran, Bahiyyih Khanum (1846-1932) was the daughter of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), Prophet and Founder of the Baha'i religion. Because Baha'u'llah's teachings were seen in His homeland as a heretical threat to the established order, He, His immediate family and a small group of followers were exiled for some forty years.

    2 John Bradfield(1867-1943) was a prominent Australian engineer who is best known for his work overseeing the design and building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In 1924 Bradfield received the first doctor of science in engineering at the University of Sydney for his thesis on electric railways and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The planning, the origins, and the beginning of the construction of the bridge all have a degree of synchronicity with the earliest development of Baha置値lah痴 World Order in the first decades of the 20th century.

    3 Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha置値lah, Baha段 Pub. Trust, Wilmette, 1974(193, p.48.

    Ron Price
    20 January 2009 to 29 January 2012
    __________________
    married for 45 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 13 and a Baha'i for 53(in 2012):cool
    This article was originally published in blog: The bridge started by RonPrice
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