Faith, and the unity of all

Last modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2015
One aspect of daily life that stands out for me is prayer and meditation. I’ve come to realize this daily practice has benefits too numerous to mention in a short article. It’s not simply a spiritual exercise. It has provided guidance in many aspects of life, helping with decisions and solving problems.

A great many prayers are short and easily memorized, and can be said quietly almost anywhere. If I forget to do this for any length of time, I realize that I’ve gotten somehow “off-track,” and need to re-center and refocus. Doing this each day reminds us that we are part of something much larger than ourselves. In one of these prayers, we read, “O God! Unite us and connect our hearts with Thy indissoluble bond.”

To me, faith is conscious knowledge that is put into daily practice in service to one another. In this case, it’s the knowledge of the fact that every individual on this earth shares the same spiritual essence, the human soul, with which God has entrusted to us for eternity. As far as I know, it’s the only created thing in the universe that has a beginning and no end. It is our true reality and the reality of all humankind. This is what Baha’is mean when we speak of the oneness of all humanity — a spiritual oneness — a bond with all people living in the smallest villages to the largest cities on earth.

In the teachings of our faith, ‘Abdu’l-Baha has likened the human heart to a mirror, and the divine spiritual teachings are compared to the rays of the sun. He asks all people “to polish the mirrors of our hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light...so that we shall become reflectors of that light and recipients of the divine bounties which may be fully revealed through them.”

In the summer of 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Baha visited the Monadnock region, and for several weeks He met and addressed hundreds of people, sometimes individually but also with larger groups. In one of His earlier talks in New York, He stated that “I have come here with this mission: that through your endeavors, through your heavenly morals, through your devoted efforts, a perfect bond of unity and love may be established between the East and the West, so that the bestowals of God may descend upon all and that all may be seen to be the parts of the same tree — the great tree of the human family. For mankind may be likened to the branches, leaves, blossoms and fruit of that tree.”

Phillip Gammons manages the Historic Dublin Inn, the local Baha’i meeting place. He is one of four panelists who will help lead the Jan. 13 Community Conversation on spirituality in the Monadnock region at Peterborough’s Bass Hall.