richard wrote:Great, and interestingly enough, that seems to make it a Baha'i issue that may well be compatible with the following observations about balancing our physical, mental, and spiritual health on our paths to God…
Indeed, 'Abdu'l-Baha, in commenting "possibly...to the Sikhs," states that as Baha'is we must, in every aspect—be it spiritual or physical
—be superior to the rest:
O ye, God's loved ones! Experience hath shown how greatly the renouncing of smoking, of intoxicating drink, and of opium, conduceth to health and vigour, to the expansion and keenness of the mind and to bodily strength. There is today a people4 who strictly avoid tobacco, intoxicating liquor and opium. This people is far and away superior to the others, for strength and physical courage, for health, beauty and comeliness. A single one of their men can stand up to ten men of another tribe. This hath proved true of the entire people: that is, member for member, each individual of this community is in every respect superior to the individuals of other communities.
Make ye then a mighty effort, that the purity and sanctity which, above all else, are cherished by `Abdu'l-Bahá, shall distinguish the people of Bahá; that in every kind of excellence the people of God shall surpass all other human beings; that both outwardly and inwardly they shall prove superior to the rest; that for purity, immaculacy, refinement, and the preservation of health, they shall be leaders in the vanguard of those who know. And that by their freedom from enslavement, their knowledge, their self-control, they shall be first among the pure, the free and the wise.
richard wrote:It is to the mind of perfect poise, housed in a body of clean habits, stabilized neural energies, and balanced chemical function--when the physical, mental, and spiritual powers are in triune harmony of development--that a maximum of light and truth can be imparted with a minimum of temporal danger or risk to the real welfare of such a being. And, by such balanced growth and progress does man advance spiritually, as well as mentally, toward God.
Truer words have never been spoken. Our physical condition can have a strong impact on our spiritual condition. One proof: Baha'u'llah states that if one's clothing is spotted or sullied, then his prayers will not be accepted by God. Also we know from 'Abdu'l-Baha that opium and other drugs such as alcohol kill the body-spirit connection. And also, if one suffers a host of health problems, it is harder for him to focus on his spiritual health, etc., than someone more fortunate. So through exercise, proper diet, etc., we may better realize our full spiritual potential.
BTW, I love hard played games of table tennis and air hockey that make me sweat, and some good games of eight ball or billiards. Also, about 100 years ago when I was in high school I spent three years on the swim team as a free-style sprinter which was hardest during training, but enjoyable at the meets and it really made me feel healthy and helped me experience the benefits that Shoghi Effendi cited. And, as cliché or hokey as it sounds, it really is the process of participating that is more important than any ego concerns over winning or losing! richard
Oh yes, regular walking, a little jogging, and some light weights make me feel, and sleep, much better, and according to some experts the reason is an increase in our endorphins...
Good to hear you are leading such a health life, Richard. When I am your age I hope to still be that active.
BTW, try going a bit heavier on the weights. Heavier weights stimulate muscle growth and increased bone density, whereas light ones just provide minimal muscle tone—which isn't to say it's bad. However, always consult your physician
.You need not dead-lift with 750 lbs. like Franco Columbu (pictured above—actually, there he is dead-lifting low 600s). There do exist some 80 y.o.+ body builders...