Baha'i News -- Order in universe has no purpose
Order in universe has no purpose
I read with interest the March 17 article by Mina Walther on equinoxes and solstices. However, at the risk of
appearing pedantic, I must take issue with two points in her article. The first is her comment that "Since
more continental land lies north of the equator ... so we call it the vernal equinox." It is called the vernal
equinox because modern understanding of the solar system was developed in Europe; first by Galileo (despite
his persecution by the Roman Catholic Church) in Italy, then by Kepler in Germany and finally by Newton in
England. All played a part in demonstrating that the Earth goes round the sun rather than the converse.
The second point is more philosophical and relates to Walther's comment that "the order in the universe
plainly arranges for human beings to enjoy nature." This implies that the order in the universe has a purpose.
It doesn't. It is just there and we humans take advantage of it. If you applied Walther's logic to the
weather (also a consequence of the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the sun) you could conclude
that the order in the universe has "arranged" for us to "suffer" tornadoes, drought and blizzards.
Spring is time of spiritual renewal
The celebration of spring has been traditionally filled with symbolism and ceremonies. Many customs have
survived the ages to become incorporated into our current culture.
One of the main themes associated with spring is that of rebirth and resurrection. Now the major world
religions observe celebrations during the month of March. There are also national holidays in many countries,
such as the spring Festival in China, the New Harvest and Life observance in Poland and the New Day (Now Ruz)
in Islamic countries such as Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan.
Bahaism's new year starts March 21, after 19 days of fasting. It is our belief that all of humankind had
a spiritual rebirth 150 years ago when the founder of the Bahai faith revealed his mission to the world.
The Bahais look at the New Year with an added dimension. Besides the newness in nature and the end of
winter darkness, besides the cultural and religious symbolism, we believe that the spiritual springtime has
started. Our thoughts and ideals are set in motion and blessed with new life.
"The birds are singing among the rose branches like the angels in the highest heavens, announcing the
glad-tidings of the approach of that spiritual spring, and the sweet music of their voices is causing the
real essence of all things to move and quiver." (Bahai writings)
Farkhonde A. Edwards
©Copyright 2002, Sarasota Herald Tribune
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