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03. Prescription for a Healthy World

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Early Egyptian Cave Painting

I am always intrigued to learn of the ways in which past generations recorded their history, values and beliefs; in cave paintings, in extraordinary feats of memory, in cuneiform shapes pressed into clay, and in dance, music, story telling. It's hard for our present generation to believe that so much could be recorded long before we had access to the electronic means on which we now depend.

It took countless years for the story of Adam and Eve and the teachings of Abraham and Krishna to reach today’s world and, like the old game of Chinese Whispers, they changed a little over the years, but the underlying message remained the same. Although these stories began many centuries ago they still retain their power to inspire, touch and influence the lives of millions.

My first teacher was my mother; just the beginning of a lifetime of learning. Successive teachers added layers to what was previously acquired. During my school week I studied various aspects of material education, and then on Sundays my attention turned to spiritual education, passed on over the ages from great Teachers like Moses and Christ.

Leaving those years of formal schooling behind, my education continued, sparked by sheer curiosity about this amazing world we share.

In the 'hippy' years to come I learned about Krishna and Buddha, and in the atheist years that followed, of C. S. Lewis and Bertrand Russell, all of whom would provoke my father and I to exchange passionate, contrary yet respectful views over Sunday lunch. These lengthy and pleasurable conversations were made even more so because, my being otherwise occupied with a subject both parents approved of, the brothers would be roped in to wash dishes in my place as the only girl in the family.

After all those year’s study of both religion and science I became despairing of anything better to follow atheism, and threw myself into feminism with a vengeance. However, whilst continuing with a lifelong belief in the equality of the genders, beneath it all my spirit was dissatisfied and restless.

Unexpectedly I found myself by choice living in a lowly council flat, rubbing shoulders with a diverse group of people and cultures I’d never had an opportunity to meet previously.

I was teaching a small group of 4 ‘special class’ or developmentally delayed children from Samoa, Tonga, Nuie and Maori backgrounds. Whilst it was every teacher’s dream to have only 4 pupils, this was a group unlike any previously experienced, who dispensed hugs, kisses and bruises in equal measures, and whom I will never forget for the very best of reasons.

On the dusty floor of the teacher's cupboard in my new classroom I discovered a book entitled "Guidance for Today and Tomorrow" by an unknown author named Shoghi Effendi. Surprisingly true to its title, that guidance for today and tomorrow is exactly what I found in it. Thus began an endless experience of healing and learning, when I was led to recognise the Bahai Faith.

'The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” - Bahaullah

African Cave painting


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