In this scholarly work, Janet and Peter Khan present the theological grounding, social context, historical action, and modern implementation of the concept of "equality between the sexes" as found in the Bahá'í Faith. Well researched and clearly written, the book has much to offer to those who, from any background, wish to better understand the underpinnings and the implications of this critical spiritual principle.
Results tagged “spirituality”
Advancement of Women: a Baha'i Perspective by Janet A. Khan and Peter J. Khan
Degradation and Upliftment in Literature
What books leave you feeling misanthropic? And what books lift your spirit, restoring a sense of faith in humanity? In this household we are currently reading Crime and Punishment and Mockingjay, which, in some unremembered way, triggered this discussion. Reviewing the many books we have read in common, we came up with a short list of those at the pinnacle for us. We ruled out anything too obvious, e.g. no dystopian novels, and no… well, I guess we don't even know about novels that are deliberately or obviously uplifting. I presume they exist, but I couldn't tell you the name of one.
Consultation and Thinking Techniques
`Abdu'l-Bahá counseled that "[t]he shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions." I have always felt, based on the rest of His writings, that "clash" should not be seen in the negative light in which the word is usually used, but rather it is clear that it is meant to be a constructive encounter of differing forces, building up rather than breaking down. In the rest of the paragraph (below), he gives the "prime requisites for them that take counsel together," presenting a beautifully spiritual approach to group consultation.
The Emotionally- and Spiritually-Deprived Creep
I've been thinking about how horribly wrong this is, that a man can rant and rave angrily, hatefully about women, walk into a gym and kill and injure several, and the news treats it as "just another" mass killing. This is not "just another". Violence is always wrong. When it is perpetrated by singling out a particular group, and that pattern is repeated over and over again, it is also indicative of a deep social ill. In this case, its name is misogyny.
Change of Laws vs. Change of Viewpoint
From a new blog I'm checking out: Raising Consciousness instead of Raising Cain. Addressing a question of what laws should change under the new U.S. adminstration …
If .. we don’t start to think of all humanity as our business, if enough of us don’t start to feel deep down that this is so, if enough of us don’t start to think in terms of what we can do for others rather than what can they do for us, no amount of leadership no matter how charismatic, no amount of money from whatever source, no changes in the law no matter how complex or idealistic will have enough effect.
One thing I've learned in recent years is that the laws and regulations of an administration clearly impact our lives in a very real manner – for instance, a rule that has just been overturned denied money from family planning groups that mentioned the word "abortion." Based on much recent research (for instance), it seems likely that such policies just deny people the opportunity to improve their standards, without actually impacting something like the abortion rate.
This is a matter of a law, but it is also a matter of seeing every single person on this planet as equally deserving of a just and fair life. Which comes first? Periodically the cold light of "reason" will bring us to (more) fair and just rules and regs. But I prefer the combination of reason applied to a "sense of common humanity." After all, the cold light of "reason" all too often says that The Other does not matter. Hence, in my poor understanding, Bahá'u'lláh's claim that unity is a pre-requisite for peace: "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established."
In Need of a Nature Bailout
If our economy is in need of a financial bailout, then perhaps our society is in need of a nature bailout. I've often felt that lack of spirituality is one of the strongest elements holding society back from a greater advancement of the general weal. New evidence suggests that lack of contact with the natural world stunts individual focus, resolve, and calm – in other words, it interferes with our ability to approach the world constructively. I'm convinced there is a connection between these two notions, though I'm not ready to explore that connection just yet.
On Faith and the Sith
Third time's... too depressing to be a charm, but Lucas finally got it right (well, more or less). Revenge of the Sith is a fitting end to a well-crafted storyline. The acting isn't perfect, a few things still seem more forced than they should be, but the story comes through loud and clear. A few hours after seeing the film, I remained haunted by the hunting of the Jedi, by the betrayal of Anikin, and most of all by his near death. And this all led me back to reflection on the nature of faith, my own in particular.