While I must confess to harbouring elevated notions that I am conveying, at least for the most part, the truth of my life, it seems to me that I am bringing me into the world, calling it to my attention, as much as I am bringing the world to me. Impressed by the depth and complexity of the writing of some authors and the superficiality of others, I increasingly took pleasure in exploring the richness of life and the mysteries of human character. Perhaps I have an overactive hypothalmus or limbic system. I have absolutely no idea. Perhaps it was pure desire, an intensity, that led to this work. In the end, the activity is its own reward.
An autobiography is not the story of a life. More accurately, it is the recreation, the discovery, of a life, in this case the life of a pioneer, a pioneer who believed he brought a better order of society and an inner life, something private, something that moved him confidently "in the direction of his dreams." I felt I was a type of pioneer that had a noble lineage in both Baha'i society and in the secular society he was a part of. In Baha'i society the lineage of the pioneer extends back 70 years(1935-2005) with a 90 year historical foundation before that(1844-1934). The secular history of pioneering goes back at least to the renaissance and reformation, if not long before that.
What I do here in this work is arrange and rearrange things from this blooming and buzzing confusion called life to give point and meaning, direction, flow, ambience, simplicity and a certain coherence to complexity. What I do is what culture critic and educator Edward Said(1935-2003) said he was doing in his The World, The Text, and the Critic. "Texts have ways of existing," wrote Said, "that even in the most rarefied form are always enmeshed in circumstance, time, place, and society; in short, they are in the world, and hence worldly." This idea is variously articulated as a motif in my work--and Said's. "The writer's life, his career, and his text," Said remarks in his book Beginnings, "form a system of relationships whose configuration in real human time becomes progressively stronger." These relationships become more distinct, more individualized and exacerbated with time. In fact, one could go so far as to say "these relationships gradually become the writer's all-encompassing subject." Said's work as a critic emerges from his life as a dislocated Palestinian. Mine emerges from my life as an international pioneer whose convictions are centred on a new movement that claims to be the emerging world religion on this planet.
Some writers, some people, see pattern and meaning in history and some don't. But whether one sees some plan, some system, in the great gallery of history or whether one doesn't the death of 10 million people in some social tragedy, people you've never met, does not have the impact of the death of your sister? The newsworthiness of a handful of deaths in your hometown rates more highly than millions in the next continent.