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 #11
"BEYOND THE TEARS IS SUNSHINE"
Stanwood Cobb, the renowned educator, wrote, "This philosophy of joy was the keynote
of all Abdu'l-Baha's teachings. "Are you happy?" was His frequent greeting to
his visitors. "Be Happy!" 'Those who were unhappy (and who of us are not at
times!) would weep at this. And Abdu'l-Baha would smile as if to say, "Yes, weep on.
tears is sunshine." "And sometimes He would wipe away with His own hands the
tears from their wet cheeks, and they would leave His presence transfigured.' In
California it was observed that 'despite the Master's fatigue at times, and His physical
ailments, He welcomed everyone with a beaming smile, and in His pleasing and vibrant voice
would ask,"Are you happy?"' He loved the sound of laughter and often told
stories and anecdotes to make us laugh. When we heard Him laugh, we knew that He or
someone else had told an amusing story, and the sound of His laughter made us all happy.
Once the Master told us that during the most dangerous and trying times of His
imprisonment Baha'u'llah would ask each member of the family to relate the most amusing
incident or story they had experienced or heard that day. After the tale had been told,
they would all roar with laughter." ( AnnaMarie Honnold, Vignettes from the Life of
Abdu'l-Baha, p. 127 and Ramona Brown, Memories of Abdu'l-Baha, p.38)
In the May, 1998 issue, the question was asked: "How can we use humour and joy
to assist with our health and well-being?"
I would like to share with you a quote I have been pondering since the last Feast (April
8/98). The theme of the Feast was joy. Our consultation was centered on how to bring more
joy into our own lives and into the life of the community.
This quote is from "Paris Talks" page 109.
"Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect
keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and
to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength
leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled. The actualities of life
seem to elude our grasp, the eyes of our spirits fail to discover the sacred mysteries,
and we become even as dead beings."
Such power joy gives us. The term "sphere of usefulness" jumped out for me. Also
the idea that we fail to discover the sacred mysteries when our joy leaves us. How excited
I was when I found this glorious Cause. How happy and intense I became, reading everything
I could get my hands on, reveling in every new discovery and meaning. Our consultation
centered more on how do we bring that spirit into our community to become attracting
beacons of hope; so the community can help us from not becoming dead beings. As
individuals we can read, meditate, say our prayers and draw closer to God but how do we
translate that into the community? How do we find our sphere of usefulness as a community?
Sometimes our community gets bogged down and the light dims dangerously low. The only way
out of a bog is to fly out. So if we need to fly we need wings and joy gives us wings. How
do we create joy within the community? Sometimes just having the Feasts and Holy
Days aren't enough, the event is held but the joy is missing.
If you have any ideas or thoughts about this please pass them on. I'm sure we all have had
times when we have had to feed the flames of joy.
Lyda Greer, Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada
HAPPINESS IS A GREAT HEALER
Joy gives strength, has a healing effect. Unhappiness weakens and causes disease. True
happiness resides in the spiritual world and is eternal, whereas all unhappiness resides
in this material world of existence, therefore the more we detach ourselves from the
material world and attach ourselves to the spiritual world, the more happy and
spiritually strong we become. The direct means of achieving this is by detachment
from all save God. Another powerful tool is the prayer "O God, refresh and gladden my
spirit.." (Baha'i Prayers, U.S.A.,1985 edition, p. 152)
A very simple physical technique is simply to laugh daily. "One man, Norman Cousins,
in his efforts to overcome a painful and debilitating disease, resorted to the exercise of
positive emotions such as laughter. With the help of his physician he collected comic
films and humorous books which he used regularly in order to laugh his illness away: 'I
made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anaesthetic
effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep. When the pain-killing
effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion-picture projector again,
and, not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free sleep interval.' "(Rusty
Wright and Linda Wright, 500 Clean Jokes and Humorous Stories, p.21) How much more
effective laughing can become when it is spiritualized! Thus you can see how interrelated
these components are, each tied to all the others, supporting and being supported. This is
not a "diet" or a treatment, it is a way of life. Be happy always.
"You must be happy always. You must be counted among the people of joy and happiness
and must be adorned with divine morals. In a large measure happiness keeps our health
while depression of spirit begets diseases. The substance of eternal happiness is
spirituality and divine morality, which has no sorrow to follow it." (Abdu'l-Baha
quoted in 239 Days: Abdu'l-Baha's Journey in America, p. 94)
Dr. William Saunders, Smyra, Georgia, U.S.A.
I have many humourous jokes and stories sent to me by email. The ones I like, I print out
and put together in a humour journal. Then when I need to lift my spirits, they are all
there for me to see.
I also subscribe to an online "Joke of the Day" list. These are clean jokes. *
To join or leave the list, email:
Send the message: Subscribe or Unsubscribe. (No other words!)
Susan Gammage, Ontario, Canada
SUPPORT FOR FRIENDS IN NEED
By Nona Simons, Reno, Nevada, U.S.A
"We should all visit the sick. When they are are in sorrow and suffering it is a real
help and benefit to have a friend come. Happiness is a great healer to those who are
ill....The people in the East show the utmost kindness and compassion to the sick and
suffering. This has greater effect than the remedy itself."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 204)
How often do we think of our friends who are ill or indisposed and in need of extra
help? It can be very comforting and an aid to healing for a person who is ill or
indisposed to receive phone calls, visits, and help with practical things such as
shopping, cooking, and house cleaning. Even though we all have busy schedules, we
can all benefit from thinking about and helping our friends who really need it. The
person who is giving the assistance to the one in need can receive all kinds of intangible
benefits from showing their care and concern for another human being. The person receiving
the assistance might feel a little less lonely and a little more loved, contributing to a
positive attitude which aids in healing. When I was recuperating from a serious surgery
several years ago, the phone calls I received were an
important highlight of the day, making me feel more connected to the world. One of my
friends took me shopping when I couldn't drive, and I was able to buy things I wanted and
needed, which aided in my recovery. Giving assistance to our friends and neighbors is
something enjoined upon us by 'Abdu'l-Baha, and the example he has set in his life is one
which all of us can try to follow. Not only does this sort of service aid the people
involved directly, but the benefits can effect an entire Baha'i community, serving to
increase unity, and helping the friends feel more connected and loved.
ADVANCES IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE
By Cindy Moriarty-Schieven
Program Director and Nutritionist
Waters of Life Therapy Centers Inc., Hawaii
web site: www.kshin.com/waterslife.html
"It is certain that in this wonderful new age the development of medical science will
lead to the doctors' healing their patients with foods."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 155)
This wondrous age, inspired by the lifegiving outpouring of energy and knowledge through
the revelation of Baha'u'llah has inspired great advances in science, medicine and
surgery. Not least among the great upwelling of
knowledge has been advances in understanding nutrition and health. But like all
social and scientific processes, knowledge can be present and available long before the
social and legal structures are present to make them available to humanity. Twenty
three years ago when I was a sick young person I began to investigate health techniques
that would help me. I was born with a congenital heart condition and had open heart
surgery at the age of six. Although the surgery and medical techniques were truly
new and miraculous, allowing me a life that would have ended in previous times, medical
knowledge of the time did not understand the negative effects that surgery and drug
therapy can have on a child and I suffered for years from serious health concerns
including chronic infections. At age 18, I suffered a cardiac arrest with CPR for 2 hours
and a period of coma. By intensive study and the assistance of a few health practitioners
I developed a lifestyle that allowed me to remain strong despite frequent surgery, chronic
heart problems and other continuous challenges and learned to prevent heart disease
related to coronary artery disease. I share this personal information to illustrate
how times change and new knowledge becomes known and accepted. Twenty years ago when I
investigated nutrition as a supportive step to health my doctors warned me not to listen
to quacks. If I had not researched and learned to apply this excellent knowledge, I would
have been a very sick person indeed and Baha'u'llah has presented challenges to help me to
continue to learn and develop new techniques.
Now doctors and the public are aware of nutrition and holistic techniques and reccomend
nutrients to the level that I used them 20 years ago. Take vitamin E and C. Use herbs for
colds, etc. This is heartening but also frustrating because 20 years of research and
knowledge has gone on during this process and the knowledge is quite staggering and
incredibly helpful. We now understand nutrition related syndromes that cause mental
illness which leads from depression to Schizophrenia which is actually a linked disease
process. They are due to specific imbalances in the body.
( Editor's note: The author has written a description and a summary of symptoms of various
illnesses such as Pyroluria, Histadelia, Histapenia, Cancer, HIV/Aids and other Ills which
could not be included here due to lack of space. However, if you wish to read this
information, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or write her at Waters of Life Therapy Centers Inc. HCR 1 Box 5352 Kea'au, Hawaii )
HEALING THROUGH UNITY IN THE U.S. SPACE PROGRAM
By Orval H. Minney, DSc
Santa Maria, CA, U.S.A.
In a previous issue (January, 1998), I spoke of the six methods of healing mentioned by
Abdu'l Baha in "Some Answered Questions" and referenced some of my experience
using these concepts in my work on the U.S. Manned Space Program. This raised the question
of how these Healing Through Unity ideas were applicable. Obviously, they were not
officially recognized by the NASA as the source of our pursuit but were my own
utilizations as a scientist researching the problems of maintaining the health, well being
and optimal functioning of the astronauts .
The greatest contribution of the Apollo Project, which landed man on the moon, is
recognized by scholars of civilization's evolutionary history as not the landing itself
but the management and control system developed by
government, academia and industry to integrate the work of thousands of companies and
organizations developing hundreds of thousands of material and psychological units, parts
and elements into a single goal oriented program and achievement. Compare this to the
human mind developing and maintaining the dynamic balance or homeostasis, spoken of by
Abdu'l-Baha, of millions of cells, tissues, systems, organs and structures into an
evolving and functional human being able to perform at levels never before seen in
evolutionary creation. As a life scientist, this was the vision of my quest.
The challenge to place a man on the moon, to go where no human had ever gone before, meant
a new paradigm had to be developed and pursued. We had to develop spiritual, psychological
and physical criteria for the first explorers or astronauts. Then, it was necessary to
develop training programs and improve and maintain their health, mental alertness and
physical acumen at the pinnacle of human achievement. As a member of the original Apollo
research team, I turned to the Baha'i Writings. Nothing in academia had prepared us for
the task we faced. Man was being sent, not only as a integral functioning subsystem in a
totally integrated mission system, but was expected to be a guinea pig and observer as
well. Medical practice was oriented toward curing diseases, but we were expected to make
healthy men healthier and keep them that way under conditions of stress never before
experienced. It was this challenge that caused me to consider the six methods of healing
as a guideline for developing criteria for use in my research.
If we consider a human as being of four elements; material (the physical body), spirit
(the animating force or energy of the body), mind (the non-material mental or thought
processes), and soul (the transcendent and true essence of the individual), then it was
necessary to consider not just the functioning or treatment of any one of these elements
but to integrate and optimize all of them into a single holistic self. Each experiment
provided data on the process or element being tested or trained but then had to be
integrated and optimized with the total psyche, physique and functional abilities of the
subject being tested. Our work included elements of eastern philosophy and yoga,
allopathic and alternative biomedical practices, modern psychology and psychometrics, and
In the Apollo Space Program we explored the unknowns of Healing Through Unity in that
complex organism called man as a holistic entity within a equally unknown and integrated
artificial environment in a hostile space environment.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH HABITS
Here are some essential elements for our spiritual and physical health from an eminent
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
9) Practice patience
10) Eat simple, natural plant foods
11) Drink adequate pure water
12) Evaluate progress daily
What a beautiful surprise to see on my email this morning such an outstanding newsletter.
My heart just soared and I had to call my mother and read it to her. She was so excited
and said, " Wow I was just reading about that". Thanks so much for the breath of
fresh air. I am the coordinator for The Power of Race Unity project that is taking place
the first time in Alaska and after reading your newsletter I now have many more ideas as
well I plan to share it with other fellow members. Thanks so much for the hard work, time
and very obvious devotion. My love and prayers will be with you.
Vinita and Travis Norman, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A
The newsletters are getting better and better with each issue....It is so spiritually
uplifting and its incredible how each person's contribution is so enriching!
Ranzie Mensah, Aosta, Italy
I enjoy so much receiving this wonderful newsletter you've put together. What a wonderful
service you are providing to a large and growing number of people!
Meim Smith, Auxiliary Board Member for Southern Ontario, Canada
It is the end of the first year of the Healing Through Unity' newsletter. It has
been so beautiful to observe and admire the exchange of information, caring and
sensitivity among the friends. How fortunate we are to have this
type of healing and support during our struggles and victories. Each one of you has been
led to Healing Through Unity' to enhance, encourage, serve and sweeten each other
and the larger community. Each one of you has contributed a wealth of knowledge and
experience of the diversity of the acquisition of perfect health. "...God willing, be
freed from all spiritual afflictions, and may attain unto perfect health..."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 108) Together as one united
spiritual family, we are learning to understand the implication and wisdom of the Baha'i
Writings on the subject of physical and spiritual health as delineated in the emerging
World Order of Baha'u'llah.
There are now 400 listed subscribers from 42 countries/territories. Please continue to
share your news, stories and ideas over the summer. I wish you a joyful and happy summer
while basking in the sunshine and love of God. I look forward to our second year of
Healing Through Unity' which will resume in September and to the treasures of the
future in the field of medicine.
My heart is very grateful for your warmth,
encouragement and support.