At the beginning of my association with the Baha’i Faith in 1953/4 the second Indo-China War(1954-1975) began.I was in grade 5 at the time and had just begun my eight year baseball career.I had also launched, about this same time, my world of part-time and volunteer jobs: collecting bottles, selling newspapers and making money any way I could including a little theft, selling household items and doing odd jobs around our house and other people’s houses. This world of part-time and volunteer jobs was to last longer than my baseball career. Fifty years later in 2004 I was finally bringing that world of PT & volunteer jobs to an end-well just about.
It is not my intention here to outline the long, tortuous and complex story of the Indo-China War or the world of my part-time and volunteer jobs. Indeed, the story of that war can be found in the mountain of print that was generated over those two decades—and since—a war which lasted until I was living and teaching in Melbourne Australia and was in my early thirties and my second marriage.My own story can not be found in the history books of modernity and so I write more of my story here.
The first two decades of another long, tortuous and complex story, what was to the Baha’i community the beginning of the Kingdom of God on Earth(1953-1973) is also a story that has not made many headlines. Indeed, in those two decades it hardly made any headlines at all. The beginning of that Kingdom was about as unobtrusive as you could get.If any revolution was silent this was the one. A long prelude, though, had begun, to an eventual and inevitable mass conversion on the part of the peoples and nations of the world, such is the belief of Baha’is the world over.This prelude was also obscure in its outlines, debateable and complex even to the votaries of that Movement and dimly visualised, although at the turn of the millennium, twenty-five years after the end of the 2nd Indo-China War, the chain of events that would lead to the revolutionising of the fortunes of this infant Faith was becoming more and more evident.-Ron Price with thanks to Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, Wilmette, 1965, p.117.
These new wars of the Kingdom are long, complex, tortuous affairs; you can’t figure them out without more than a little work and a lot of reading. And you get some ofthe story while you’re eating your steak and chips or, perhaps, before you go to bed more than a little tired after your day; or you wake up in the middle of the night and the radio tells you about how many were killed today as you watched the tanks roll in, the men in uniform and the bombs drop.
And if you think that war is complex, the other one, the one I’ve fought in all my life without guns, swords or uniforms is much more stony, tortuous and narrow, virtually invisible to the naked eye and can’t be captured on TV, the cinema or the many media now in existence. The army of the Lord of Hosts, in its campaigns in all the continents of the globe, in the fields of God, the habitation of the souls of men,1 has been planting seeds to produce fruitful trees not wild weeds or myriads of grains of sand on a thousand beaches.
1 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, 1971, p.59.