Articles

Learner Inspired to Enter Public Discourse for an Ever-Advancing Civilization

Sep 29, 2021

Image: World map of countries shaded according to their ecological footprint in 2006 (published on 25 November 2009 by the Global Footprint Network).

Course: Carrying Forward an Ever-Advancing Civilization (2021)
Faculty Mentor: Neil Whatley

Editor’s Note: This was Douglas Gilbert’s first course with the Wilmette Institute, and he is enrolled in two others: Science, Religion, and the Bahá’í Faith, and Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity. We wish him success in all his endeavors.


My course goals were quite comprehensive, and after a review, every point was addressed in more depth than I expected. The international nature of the course participants was the most illuminating and captivating aspect, opening my horizons on important Bahá’í activities. From Paul Hanley’s book (Eleven), I expanded my understanding of human consciousness as well as insight into the unsustainability of the old world order.

I have sharpened my skills in writing and speaking contributions to important discourse regarding spiritual solutions to spiritual problems facing humanity.

I entered the course believing that an “ever-advancing civilization” was a lovely concept, but I now appreciate the urgency for Bahá’ís to do the heavy lifting to achieve the goal.

My views and beliefs about agriculture were not only expanded, but reversed in many aspects.

I have begun giving public talks, engaging in public discourse that boldly presents the precepts of the Bahá’í Faith as the new revelation for today. I spoke on Peace at the Historic Dublin Inn where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stayed, and on another occasion I gave a sermon on Unity at the Dublin Community Church where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke in 1912. I have also prepared a talk for the course that I plan to present this week.

Contributors

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Douglas Gilbert

Mr. Gilbert is a Bahá’í and an award-winning author, an inventor with four patents, a professor, and a speaker who has lectured across Europe and the United States. He recently taught mathematics at York Technical College (SC) and studied at Winthrop University (SC) and Williams College (MA). He holds a BS in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy and a Masters of Philosophy from Yale University. He is the author of “The Last Saturday of October,” and recently published an article in the US Naval Institute Journal of Naval History.

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