SOME EARLY NOTES OF THE CLARION CALL TO ONENESS
Oneness, the unity, interdependence and interrelatedness of all of life, is at the heart of John Steinbeck's writings, at least for the twenty-five year period 1941-1966. This concept is also at the heart of the Baha'i teachings. This poem draws these two phenomena together: a famous American novelist and a movement with pretensions to being the emerging world religion that will institutionalize this oneness in all the spheres of life over the next several centuries and beyond. Without a set of guidelines agreed to by all the nations of the world and set within some legal framework with mutual coercions mutually agreed upon, this unity, this oneness, can never be safeguarded and protected along the elastic string of time.
-Ron Price with thanks to Steinbeck and the Environment: Interdisciplinary Approaches, editors, S. Beegel, S. Shillinglaw and W. Tiffney, the University of Alabama Press, London, 1997.
You've1 been going strong since
at least those world order letters2
and by the time the first Seven
Year Plan was set in motion3
your ethical imperatives were
defining the importance of a
harmony with all living things;
seeing the oneness of all of life
was at the centre of your entire
corpus until after I went pioneering,
your Travels with Charlie was published
and you got the Nobel Prize for literature--
all in 19624 . I was only eighteen then and
had only begun to travel oneness's road.
1 the famous American writer John Steinbeck
2 Shoghi Effendi: 1929-1931.
3 1937: the beginning of the international teaching program of the international Baha'i community
4 1962 saw the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring with its similar ecological and socio-political message. I had joined the Baha'i Faith and had just begun to take it seriously in 1962.
7 November 1998