Often we wait until a learner finishes a course to print an excerpt about the person’s final project. In this case, learner Keri Hubbard has been so taken with her study of The Secret of Divine Civilization that we are breaking our own rule and sharing what she has already learned. Keri, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, and who reached the half century mark recently, has pledged to learn something new every winter (in the past it has been dance lessons, yoga classes, knitting and spinning yarn, and sewing and volunteering with a literacy project). This year she has lined up two firsts: her first course with the Wilmette Institute and her first Ruhi book. During the long, dark Alaskan winter she aims to experience a “transformative process.” That, she says, is “a bit like opening up a present; one never knows what wonders may be inside.” Let Keri tell you herself about the insights she has already gained in the first units of the course, which she says “is opening up a whole new world!”
I have read excerpts from The Secret of Divine Civilization over many years—but never the entire work from first word to last. The first two units of this course have been fabulous. Like another participant, I had no idea ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was such a prolific a writer (in several languages), with more than 16,000 letters and other works. I very much appreciate the variety of readings and suggest that others who have the time and are interested in “digging deeper” to follow the links in the course. Although I am not an academic, I appreciate the diligent work and analysis of those who are contributing to the body of knowledge for future generations. True, I skip over some of the Persian references, but, all in all, I can follow along and absorb the research materials.
“As a person new to the Ruhi materials, my hunch is that The Secret of Divine Civilization will prove to be foundational to that system of study. No matter if my hunch proves to be wrong! As people become increasingly disillusioned with current systems of governance (it is commonplace where I live that wherever people are gathered, in barber shops, restaurants, school meetings, and so on, conversation gravitates to some theme of “What can we do to fix it?” “We’re doomed,” or “This solution versus that”). I typically avoid political discussion but have already increased my comfort level in contributing to the conversations by mentioning concepts from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. One of my goals for this course is to memorize specific passages in order to contribute using direct quotations and not run the risk of “wrong paraphrasing.”