Journal Entry, August 30, 2008
Last night I awoke around 3:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. It then occurred to me, hitting me like the proverbial bolt of lightning, “This is the structure, this is the theme.” THE ARGUMENT is the form of The Parliament of Poets. I’ve always thought of it as the theme as well, never even thinking it might be different. Reading most of Huston Smith’s books since seeing his Forgotten Truth at the East West Bookstore in Mountainview, California, in June, and now Arnold Toynbee’s A Historian’s Approach to Religion, his Gifford Lecture, I realize they both had worked their way to essentially the same vision as Baha’u’llah–the oneness of humanity and all religions.
Reading Toynbee again after more than two decades, and weeks of Huston Smith and Joseph Campbell this summer, I realize Toynbee has an amazingly clear and succinct understanding of the universal religious call to the soul: Sacrifice thyself for the good of others. Serve them. Lead them to the Light. Accept and bear they load of suffering and pain for their sake, for the sake of God, the Absolute Reality.
“This is the structure, this is the theme.” A complete metaphysics with the structure to support it–all of human history and experience.