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March 1998

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of

physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.

Volume 1, Issue #8


"...this immortal human soul is endowed with two means of perception: One is effected through instrumentality; the other, independently. For instance, the soul sees through the instrumentality of the eye, hears with the ear, smells through the nostrils and grasps objects with the hands. These are actions or operations of the soul through instruments. But in the world of dreams the soul sees when the eyes are closed. The man is seemingly dead, lies there as dead; the ears do not hear, yet he hears. The body lies there, but he - that is, the soul - travels, sees, observes... It
often happens that a man in a state of wakefulness has not been able to accomplish the solution of a problem, and when he goes to sleep, he will reach that solution in a dream. How often it has happened that he has dreamed, even as the prophets have dreamed, of the future; and events which have thus been foreshadowed have come to pass literally."   ('Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 416)

It is a gift to know that there is a host of holy souls just waiting to be called into action to assist us. There is an interesting dream in the book "Tristan" on page 184 by Suzanne Schuurman. Tristan was born physically and mentally disabled and through his ability to understand and accept his limitations and sufferings, he became spiritually adept. He was born in Iqualuit, Northwest Territories, Canada.

"I was in the other worlds of God and one of the heavenly host was showing me around what looked like a celestial control center. There were big monitor screens on tables at which sat an angel, or heavenly being. Each screen monitored a person on earth who was that angel's particular responsibility. The singular thing about the screen was that it showed only good deeds, altruistic conduct, self-sacrifice and the like. Some of the angels were obviously bored sitting before totally blank screens. On some screens, however, there was so much activity that other heavenly beings, who were not busy, came to look and consult about the next course of action. The conversation I overheard went something like this:

‘Look at that wonderful reaction!'
‘Do you think they are ready for the next test?'
‘They have just had a real dilly!'
‘Well, it's "my soul" and I think it can handle it. After all, the more it learns the better. Are you forgetting that there is a time limit here?' The next test would be sent down and several angels would gather at the console to watch the soul's response and progress.
‘Beautiful! I knew it could do it!"


In the February, 1998 newsletter the question was asked:  "The cycles of growth involve both crises and victories. What are some examples of this spiritual process and how does it affect our lives? What does this pattern of growth look like?"


In the normal cycles of the advancement of the Faith two phases are prominent, crisis and victory. Crisis is always followed by victory, and victory is always followed by crisis. This is the normal course of the divine process, and is manifest in all aspects of life. Both of these phases are essential for completion. They are complementary opposites;
these two are the same, yet they are different.  In the field of health this process is manifest as a healing crisis followed by a cure. All true healing comes from God, Who has deposited within us a divine healing power which automatically heals us of all disease if we simply abide by His laws.  This healing is an active, powerful process, which can be very painful if it is delayed sufficiently to require an intense response. In other words, healing hurts. It is not a passive comfortable process. Why? Because it involves severe changes, and all changes to which we have not adapted ourselves are uncomfortable, regardless of whether they are positive changes or negative changes. Thus, some sports trainers have the saying, "No pain, no gain." Because of this inherent discomfort asociated with the intense healing phase, our materialistic society has labeled the healing crisis as being the disease, and seeks to alleviate the symptoms by aborting the healing, thus leading to the development of chronic disease.  In the natural cycles of growth and the acquisition of health perfections, we move through successively higher levels of perfections, and at each level we are taken apart, purified, and put back together again at the higher level, somewhat analagous to an automobile being taken apart, worn parts replaced, and reassembled.  This is a spiritual process, which is also manifest in this physical world. We have explicit instructions from Baha'u'llah telling us how to acquire perfect health. Each of us can become as a regiment, and live to be a hundred and ten years or longer.
Dr. William Saunders, Smyrna, Georgia, U.S.A


We can learn from the Manifestation of God, His son 'Abdu'l-Baha and His great grandson Shoghi Effendi who had a firm anchor on things on how to cope with life's many crises and victories. Ruhiyyih Khanum in her book, "The Priceless Pearl" mentions that the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, would be so deeply affected by events swirling around Him that He would sometimes wrap himself up in a coat of Baha'u'llah and lie absolutely motionless. This story which shows a fine balance was brought to our attention. "Yet who can doubt that all the central Figures demonstrated to the whole of mankind an assured and happy way of life? Here is where their example seems particularly precious. To rise above the disappointments, obstacles, and pain which we experience in serving the Cause is difficult enough, but to be called on, in doing so, to be happy and confident is perhaps the keenest spiritual test any of us can meet. The lives of the Founders of our Faith clearly show that to be fundamentally assured does not mean that we live without anxieties, nor does being happy mean that there are not periods of deep grief when, like the Guardian, we wrap
ourselves in a blanket, pray and supplicate, and give ourselves time for healing in preparation for the next great effort." (A letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada quoted in Quickeners of Mankind p. 117)


I have been in a year of patience since May, and it has been the most trying and exhilarating time in my life. The pain of separation from my dearly-loved husband of 16 years has been equalled by what we have both learned from the experience, and perhaps far surpassed by what we still stand to learn before we are reunited. We have been blessed by having a skillful counselor, caring friends, a mature and forward-thinking Assembly in our area, and prayers from all over the world.

One ramification of these tests and this learning has been that I am physically and emotionally healthier than I have been in years. I have begun taking care of myself as I have striven to take care of others for a long time. I have begun to learn the correlations between love and discipline and health. I have begun to learn appropriate ways of expressing even unpleasant feelings, so that I can be obedient to Baha'u'llah's exhortations not to lose our tempers and to speak humbly. I have begun, along with my husband, to be able to teach our children (now adolescents) many of the things we weren't taught as children. And today I can truly say that, while I am still experiencing the pain of separation, I am happy and contented.

"Through that Word the realities of all created things were shaken, were divided, separated, scattered, combined and reunited, disclosing, in both the contingent world and the heavenly Kingdom, entities of a new creation."  (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, pp. 295-96)
Rachel Cammack, Washington, U.S.A


As a midwife, the pattern of growth in pregnancy fits perfectly! Not only the labor and birth process, but the actual pregnancy, during which the woman and her family go through many crises and victories as they prepare for this new life. Unquestionably, her life is irreparably changed! Just as I encourage this woman with reassurance that her unique experience is also held in common with generations of women, and remind her that she can do this - that her body was designed to accomplish this most sacred task. Similarly, God has designed us all to work through the gestation of our
souls, so that we can birth ourselves into His spiritual world. The knowledge of how a mother's life style affects her developing child is being continuously unfolded for us. Her diet, exercise, life stressors and thoughts all have an impact. Every choice we make impacts our souls. The process is unique to each of us, and yet, generations have worked it through and we are assured by the Blessed Beauty (Baha'u'llah) that we have the capacity. Choose wisely my brothers and sisters!
Karen Sadar Watt, The Midwifery Network, Louisiana, U.S.A.


I would like to share my own experience with friends and perhaps be of some help to you to go through crises with an eternal hope of spiritual growth. My life has been a succession of crises and victories...I will share a couple of them.

In one year, I lost both my fiance and roommate who died in very dramatic circumstances. I was also very far from God and religion. I was raised as a Catholic. When my fiance died, his parents asked me to organize a religious ceremony at church. I was not very convinced of it but did my best to organize something he would have liked, i.e. joyful and hopeful . I didn't know what to choose as far as songs were concerned and for some mysterious reason, I chose a song about the return of Christ ("When will He come back to walk on our path?") This song was so powerful that during the following year everytime I was thinking of my fiance, I started to sing it again and again. Only when I discovered Baha'u'llah for the first time, years later did I stop singing it.

When my roommate died - she was a very religious Christian - she left a gift for me which I discovered a few days after her death, her own Bible. These two deaths led me unconsciously to search for the truth. One year later, still suffering from the death of my two dearest friends, I met two Catholic priests at a party who became friends and offered to say a mass for my two friends . After the mass, these priests came to my home with a Jewish friend and we started to talk about religion. I had become more open to it and the conversation was very intense. At some stage, the Jewish friend said to me: " I know what you are, you are a Baha'i " and he explained to me about the Baha'i Faith. I discarded it since I didn't want to hear about any new religion since I was returning to the Catholic Church.

During the same time, I was having a very difficult time in my professional life. I had been fired from my job which I thought was the job of my life. As a result, I decided to start my own company, a travel agency. I started it at the worse time during the Gulf War. I really thought about stopping it but for some reasons I went on despite all the financial difficulties and very hard work. Thank God I did it since this new company gave me travelling opportunites around the world and nearly on every trip I came across the Baha'i Faith...I did a Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land which ended on Mount Carmel. When I returned home, I declared myself a Baha'i. I can't thank God enough for all the hard times I went through. Because without all those times, I would never have met Baha'u'llah. Now every time, hard time comes I get excited because I know that at some stage if I manage to go through it, I will grow spiritually and be gratified. I feel blessed and so happy in spite of what I went through.

May this story help a lot of people who go through difficult times to grow and keep hope.
Laurence de Closets, Paris, France

Here is another answer to the January, 1998 question:  "What are some divine ways of serving individuals who are ill or in need of our assistance?"

I would like to offer the following ideas:
1. Show love to them
2. Pray for them
3. Encourage them
4. Find ways to make them happy
5. Find ways to spread and share a healthier way of life with everyone. The more each person gets support, the easier it is for them to feel better.

As an example for number four, one way I found to uplift my own spirit is by exercising to classical music, which makes the sometimes heavy task of exercising more fun and enjoyable.

I feel that all of the above five ideas apply to all the dear friends involved in "Healing Through Unity", the selfless efforts of the physicians and the generous sharing of ideas by all...
Mina Khaze, England

A Person's Victory with her Health

For over a year now, Dr. Saunders, Georgia, U.S.A, has been my doctor, and this wonderful approach to spiritual and physical health has changed my whole life. Since I had been in such poor health before, I have since had many opportunities to share this process with friends.

Everybody says that it is difficult to start this health program; some friends say it is impossible: 'How can we not eat kabab, chicken, tah cheen, fessenjun, etc., or cheese, yogurts, cake, chocolate, tea, etc.?' And it is true. Really, it seems impossible, if we think from this point of view, which is looking at the short-term way of enjoyment.

However, if we look at it from the long-term result of it, we find it a much better and more enjoyable way of life. Putting aside the main (spiritual) aspect of it and only considering the physical benefits, we see that it is much healthier, we will enjoy the taste of each food more. We will have more time because we spend less time in the kitchen. We spend less money on our food, and we generally find life easier to live. Having considered this side of things, we will give up our attachment to the short-term view, and sacrifice our cravings. As we know at the start of
any change, there is a need for some sacrifice. As the Writings say, we have to give up the important for the most important....

I feel that besides the physical point of view, it is the most effective way to progress spiritually. Just like fasting and obligatory prayers, it improves our will power and steadfastness, our patience, our detachment, our reliance upon God, and our obedience to His Covenant. It is in fact the effects of the spiritual side of this diet that I find the most
interesting...the main purpose is to apply the Creative Words in my daily life.
Mina Khaze, England


Here are some essential elements for our spiritual and physical health.

1) Trust in God
2) Consult a skilled physician and follow his instructions
3) Practice detachment from all save God
4) Practice moderation
5) Pray and meditate daily; read the Creative Word morning and evening
6) Be happy always
7) Simplify
8) Focus
9) Practice patience
10) Eat simple, natural plant foods
11) Drink adequate pure water
12) Evaluate progress daily

Dearly beloved family,
"Baha'u'llah says in the Hidden Words #16 of the Arabic, "O Son of Light! Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it." No matter what our illness, if we turn to God, enter His court, supplicate, pray and meditate on His Word, He will guide us. Our test is to become detached from ourselves and place our affairs in His hand. If we do this we can feel Baha'u'llah's strength and have inner peace. As we submit to God's will, our purpose in life will be fulfilled. We will be assured and confident."
Eugenia Pritchard, Florida, U.S.A
"I want to thank you for sending the newsletter. Yesterday, I received no.7 and we used it as a basis of discussion in our meeting, in the evening. Everybody agreed on the quality of the teaching of the newsletter. Thank you again and God bless you for this very important work."
Gilles Gauthier, Granby, Quebec, Canada
"I would like to thank you so much for your newsletters. Not only do I learn a lot from them, but it is also a wonderful link between the friends and an extraordinary way to unite people from all over the world. I live in France
where the number of Baha'is is small. I am so happy to share with many people from the whole world. Thanks so much."
Laurence de Closets, Paris, France

The question for this month is:
"How do we bring ourselves into account?"

O Son of Being!
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds."
(Baha'u'llah, Hidden Words, #32)

Please share all your responses or if you have other comments for the newsletter, please write to: Frances Mezei by e-mail, -- .

Other than the quoted Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article.

With most loving greetings,
Frances Mezei
Ontario, Canada

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