HEALING THROUGH UNITY
A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.
Volume 1, Issue #6
This article was written by Ranzie Mensah who lives in Aosta, Italy.
Is my soul atrophied ?
Is my soul hungry?
Is my soul thirsty?
Is my soul in anguish?
Is my soul wandering in the desert of heedlessness
Blinded by the veils of my vain imaginations?
Are my wings sullied
By my attachment to worldly desires?
What is prayer?
Why must we pray?
Why is humanity not praying anymore?
All the religions of the past have taught us that the fundamental purpose of prayer is for us to draw closer to God. The essence of the human creation is his soul, and this soul will return to its Maker. Our heaven will be the degree of our closeness to Him and our hell will be the degree of our separation from Him.
"...in separation from Whom hearts and souls have melted..."
(Baha'u'llah, Long Obligatory Prayer, Bahá'í Prayers, 1985 edition, p. 9)
"...separation from Thee hath destroyed me, and remoteness from Thee hath consumed me." (ibid, p.13)
The cardinal purpose of our lives on this earthly plane is to know God and to worship Him. One of the ways to achieve this is through prayer. "I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee." (ibid, p.4)
When the seed is sown, the pure water and the brilliant rays from the sun will cause the seed to sacrifice itself and become the tree, giving forth blossoms, flowers and finally its fruit. The purpose of the creation of the seed will have been fulfilled. The seed will have become utter nothingness.
"...O My servants! Be as resigned and submissive as the earth, that from the soil of your being there may blossom the fragrant, the holy and multicolored hyacinths of My knowledge."
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings CLII)
We pray so that the fire of the power of the Word of God will burn away our idols of vain imaginings.
"...to make of my prayer a fire that will burn away the veils which have shut me out from Thy beauty, and a light that will lead me unto the ocean of Thy Presence." (Baha'u'llah, Long Obligatory Prayer, Baha'i Prayers, p.8)
We must teach our children to learn the prayers and the Sacred Writings by heart. 'Abdu'l-Bahá exhorted many of the early believers to commit the prayers and Tablets to memory. We must be an example for our children and youth. These words will be engraved on their hearts forever and will strengthen them in the Covenant. I will always remember when the martyrs in Iran were thrown into prison, all their belongings taken away from them, including their Baha'i books. They all knew prayers by heart and chanted them in their prison cell and prepared their souls to meet their heart's desire. In the next world, we will pray. We will pray for our beloved ones who are still on this earthly plane as they will pray for us. We will take with us, not the prayer books, but the prayers that are engraved on our hearts.
"...whereby I may live as long as Thy sovereignty endureth, and may make mention of Thee in every world of Thy worlds." (ibid, 9)
Our prayers must lead us to the shores of detachment. But before we reach this station, we must be ready to surrender our will to His Will. And this is sometimes a life-long enterprise. That is why we repeat these phrases everyday when we recite the Long Obligatory Prayer on pages 8 and 9 in Bahá'í Prayers.
"Behold me standing ready to do Thy will and Thy desire..."
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love."
Only when the dross is cleared from the mirror will it reflect the face of the Beloved.
Only when the veils are removed from the lamp will the light shine.
Only when the dust is shaken from our feet may we tread the threshold of His bounties.
Only when we have removed every trace of wordly desire will we come home.
"Be light and untrammeled as the breeze, that ye may obtain admittance into the precincts of My court, My inviolable Sanctuary."
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings CLII)
Here are more enlightened responses to the September 1997 question: "What are some of the treatments to re-establish a balance in our bodies to prevent sickness?"
In "Some Answered Questions" pp. 254-56, 'Abdu'l Baha speaks of six types of healing; four are spiritual and two are material. Spiritual healing comprises 1) contagion of health from the healthy to the one slightly 'out of sorts' 2) transfer of a magnetic force from a healer to the one ill, for example to place one's hand upon his head or heart 3) through the concentrated belief of the healer and the patient that a cure will occur, and 4) through the Holy Spirit. Material healing is by means of medicine and by aliments, fruit and vegetables and waters, hot and cold.
He speaks in the same reference that the body is in a state of equilibrium and that an imbalance causes disease while balance of the elements involved restores or perpetuates it. As a scientist working on problems of life support, environmental and radiation protection systems for the United States Space program, I have become aware that the health of the Astronauts or future space travelers became of paramount importance. As a Baha'i, I turned to the Baha'i Writings instead of the current medical literature for guidance and took as my basic assumption if balance is established and maintained that the body will heal itself.
The body is in a state of dynamic homeostasis, that it is constantly adjusting for all the changes occurring from microbic and viral invasions, environmental assaults, positive or negative thinking, and finally to our attitude toward life and our spiritual beliefs and commitments. True equilibrium is a static state and is only observed several hours after death when all life activity comes to a halt. Therefore, balancing the body to heal or maintain health requires all aspects of the six healing methods referenced above. Let me explain.
Essentially, the body's homeostasis is controlled by the endocrine and immune systems, through release of the chemicals or phagic bodies that fight invasions of foreign or toxic materials. But even the immune system must rely on a proper supply of the elements necessary for it to do its work. The endocrine system is controlled by the autonomic nervous system which has two parts, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic system. One increases reactions while the other suppresses them. The autonomic system acts independently through the subconscious but also has a linkage to our central nervous system. Most religious traditions also say it is connected to our soul or spiritual nature. The autonomic system balance is affected from above by our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and from below by unfriendly foreign organisms, toxic substances, either entering the body or being produced by the body and not eliminated, and by adverse climatic conditions to which the body is subjected. Therefore, you can see that each of the methods of healing mentioned above can contribute to the homeostasis of the body and restore or maintain health. If appropriate methods are used in combination and if the patient truly believes they will be healed, the body will re-establish a dynamic homeostasis and heal itself. A competent physician should understand these principles but modern medical practice concentrates primarily on repairing injuries and trying to reduce the effects of invading germs and inflamations through drugs with little concern on strengthening the body's ability to heal itself through restoring those elements missing in its chemistry by aliments, foods and fruits. Based on this understanding, a colleague once remarked that in the United States a convention of competent physicians could be held in a telephone booth.
The subject is weighty, but I have tried to be brief and not too scholarly. Each of the methods of healing based on this assumption and explanation could be an article by themselves. If anyone wishes to ask questions my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Orval H. Minney, DSc, California, U.S.A.
I would like to say that eating organic foods, no meat, dairy, and little wheat has brought myself and my daughter to a better place health wise. I use herbs now for onset of illness, and rarely see the illness actually take hold!
"It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, aliments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, ailments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature." (Some Answered Questions, pp. 257-59) Diana Kite, Washington, U.S.A
Here are more answers to the November 1997 question: "How can we encourage ourselves and other people to develop imagination, creativity and initiative?"
When we realize how profound our influence is on each other, how our very thoughts nurture or deflate others, we have a tremendous opportunity -- and challenge.
We learn in consultation to be prayerful together, to pray silently, and we see the blessings which shower upon us as we struggle together to communicate and create. The nascent House of Justice (the Baha'i Local Spiritual Assembly) is the creative spirit of our day. How triumphant when we can feel that Unity in the outcome of consultation!
As we begin to strive to function using these new spiritual principles of unity and consultation, we will become more and more sensitive to each other, to the positive and to the negative. Then we can consciously send our love/unity/spiritual connection to others and cultivate detachment from our insecurities if we encounter negativity. It is a new way of being and an exciting way of being together. The fruits are all around us, made manifest in seeing others' unfolding hearts when we bathe them in love.
To generate greater creativity and imagination in others, we have only to bathe them in the love we have unleashed from our own hearts/minds and then share in their returned supporting thoughts. It is the greatest adventure of our time! How blessed is this Day!
Linda Foust, Atlanta, U.S.A
Children are basically curious and creative. This curiosity and creativeness are stifled by not answering their questions or forbidding, by direct command or teasing, their flights of imagination. Our schools regimentize them to be 'good citizens' in the current mold of mediocre society. Genius or creativity are portrayed in the media as 'mad professors', eccentrics, or comic characters. We do not read fairy tales, or fantasy. We can start helping others by encouraging children's curiosity, creativity and initiative. Open their minds and encourage them to dream dreams and see visions.
How about we adults? We can read the revealed Word and other writings that will open up new thoughts. Eliminate our fear of rejection, accept positive, and ignore negative criticism. Play games not based on chance alone but that require visual acuity and strategy where we must see and plan ahead. Think circularly, not linear, and accept no boundaries to the universe in determining solutions. That is, see in our mind's eye the problem, the solution and all the steps in between as one entity, develop scenarios of what could happen, and settle for optimization rather than hoping for a single 'right' answer. Test it, reject it quickly if it doesn't work, no matter how much we were involved or convinced about it. Practice word association and build up our vocabulary. Exercise our mind just as we would do with our muscles. Stretch our imaginations, create 'what ifs'. Meditate and achieve that glimpse into the universe that makes one a 'knower', an 'enlightened one', and then rely on our intuition backed up by fact or experiment.
When I first entered the space program, our manager made us sit and read Science Fiction for months before we ever started working on problems. He was opening our minds from earth bound thinking to universal thinking and exposing us to the sci-fi writers who were the most imaginative persons of the time.
If you awoke one morning and were unable to contact another Baha'i anywhere in the world, you would be responsible to God for the entire plan of Baha'u'llah. What would you do?
Civilization collapses, anarchy reigns in your community and people turn to you and say, help us to re-establish civilization. How would you build the Divine Civilization?
You're standing at a transit stop and a fellow passenger says, tell me about the Baha'i Faith. You look up and see the bus coming so you only have less than five minutes. What do you say?
Perhaps you might wish to develop scenarios for these 'what ifs' and develop your own 'what ifs' and share your answers in the newsletter.
Orval Minney, California, U.S.A
Your newsletter sounds interesting. I am a nutritionist, and involved in a number of little development projects here in Ecuador, South America, which have to do with health.
Sam DuBois, Ecuador, South America
Thank you for your promptness in sending me 4 issues (Sept -Dec 97) of the wonderful, touching, practical newsletter.
K.F. Yip, Taiwan
What a beautiful and touching newsletter! When I read it I feel like I am drinking honey, so soothing, so healing for my physical and spiritual being. It really touches my soul. Thank you for your love.
SiewSim Chin, Ontario, Canada
Just a quick note of appreciation and admiration for your wonderful initiative of starting the "Healing Through Unity" magazine.....I know for a fact that there is a great need for disseminating the Writings on health and healing as well as articles connecting to our spiritual healing process to the divine Teachings. Your initiative may very well be part of such sorely needed responses.......Shahkar Arjomand, Auxiliary Board Member for Southern Ontario, Canada
It is with great joy that I receive the news of the "Healing Through Unity" newsletter..I can't tell you how much I need it - when I saw the email from Baha'i Announce, I cheered and cried both! Ya Baha'ul-Abha!
"...We must all strive with heart and soul until we have the reality of unity in our midst, and as we work, so will strength be given to us.."
(Paris Talk, p. 54) Phoebe Stark, Puerto Rico
Thank you very much for sending me "Healing Through Unity". Based on a quick read through the issues, I am sure it will be a most valuable resource for my classes and for the Baha'i community. The students and I shall study it together in depth.
Nancy Barnes, Daystar International School, Japan
Editor's note: Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other people so we can assist them and include them in this beautiful circle of love. The newsletter, which travels with the speed of light, is only available through electronic means. This brings this quote to mind:
" A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions and functioning with marvelous swiftness and perfect regularity." (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 203)
QUESTION FOR THIS MONTH
The question for this month is: What are some divine ways of serving individuals who are ill or in need for our assistance.
Please share all your responses or if you have other comments for the newsletter, please write to: Frances Mezei by e-mail, -- .
Much love, prayers and spiritual connection,