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Author: Maya Bohnhoff

... is a professional writer, editor, recording / performing artist, and Baha'i. She lives in San Jose, CA.
First of All, Do No Harm

First of All, Do No Harm

I frequently find myself involved in discussions about the role of religion and/or revelation in the world. It is assumed, on occasion, that when religious people talk about what their faith means to them or has done for them, they are saying that without religion, they would never have pondered those subjects at all, or would not consider the consequences of their actions. To be honest, every day experience leads me to believe that not many people actually DO consider…

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Human rights champions in Iran commemorate sixth anniversary of imprisonment of Baha’i leaders

Human rights champions in Iran commemorate sixth anniversary of imprisonment of Baha’i leaders

GENEVA, 15 May 2014, (BWNS) — In an unprecedented show of solidarity, influential Iranian personalities, human rights activists, journalists, and a prominent religious leader gathered this week in Tehran to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the imprisonment of the seven Iranian Baha’i leaders and to express support for them.News of this highly significant gathering spread rapidly through online and social media yesterday. The centerpiece of the coverage was a photograph of those assembled in a private home around a large…

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Part 2 of Poverty and Humanity: The Domino Effect

Part 2 of Poverty and Humanity: The Domino Effect

Previously on Grimm… Okay, play on words time is over. Seriously, the plight of the poor in America is grim. The Great Recession we are still pulling out of cut a great many Americans off at the knees. Poverty flooded and seeped into sectors of our national community that it had not invaded before. And those who were living in poverty already—on Native Reservations, in rural areas in the midwest and deep South, in urban ghettos—found even the slender lifelines…

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Part 1 of Poverty and Humanity: Open Your Hands

Part 1 of Poverty and Humanity: Open Your Hands

And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:10) If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. (Leviticus 25:35) …you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but…

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

“The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings, CXXII) A number of key Bahá’í principles relate to education. Bahá’u’lláh made the independent investigation of reality and truth a primary article of His faith. He further says the acquisition of knowledge “is incumbent upon all”. This, obviously, requires a person to have the skills to acquire knowledge…

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Making Reality Behave, #2: Useful Fictions and the Scientific Method

Making Reality Behave, #2: Useful Fictions and the Scientific Method

“Scientific knowledge is the highest attainment upon the human plane, for science is the discoverer of realities. It is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Material science is the investigation of natural phenomena; divine science is the discovery and realization of spiritual verities. The world of humanity must acquire both. A bird has two wings; it cannot fly with one. Material and spiritual science are the two wings of human uplift and attainment. Both are necessary…” — Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of…

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Stephen Friberg’s Latest in HuffPost

Stephen Friberg’s Latest in HuffPost

Common Ground Group contributor Stephen Friberg (an experimental physicist by calling) has a new piece in the Huffington Post timed to coincide with the “debate” between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Hamm (who is apparently arguing the case for a young earth, created whole). The piece is entitled: “A Bahá’í Take on the Science and Religion Debate” and can be read at this link: A highlight of the article, for me was this, Men and women of goodwill…

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Making Reality Behave, #1: Religion, Reality, and Human Invention

Making Reality Behave, #1: Religion, Reality, and Human Invention

I have heard it opined that the greatest threats to religion are science and reason. In reality, I find Abdu’l-Bahá’s take on this much more compelling: Consider what it is that singles man out from among created beings, and makes of him a creature apart. Is it not his reasoning power, his intelligence? Shall he not make use of these in his study of religion? I say unto you: weigh carefully in the balance of reason and science everything that…

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Going to the Cows

Going to the Cows

I looked to one of my favorite talks by Abdu’l-Bahá for my subject this time and realized, when I’d begun to look at it in terms of pull quotes, that I had very little to add. Here, in a talk given at the Open Forum in San Francisco, California on October 10, 1912, Abdu’l-Bahá takes up the nature of the human intellect—which is to say, he takes up the question of what it is that makes us human. The notes…

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Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

As a writer of fiction, my job—according to colleague and wise-woman Ursula LeGuin—is to put into words what cannot be put into words. Tall order. The tools with which I am supposed to do this are words. Words arranged in such a way that I can convey to my reader what my characters are sensing, feeling, thinking and doing. I need to be able to subtly and not-so-subtly manipulate the reader’s thoughts and feelings to get the action, atmosphere and…

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