One day a fox was passing by in the forest and saw her old friend’s dog chasing after its own tail. The fox was puzzled and asked the dog what is all that mary went round all about. The dog said, she is told that happiness is in her tail and she has been trying all day to catch it! The fox said that is true, your happiness is in your tail but chasing it is not the way to catch it. The dog who was by now quite tired, gladly paused and said, O ya? Then how do I catch it? The fox said just watch me and started to leave while turning around and saying see, my tail comes after me as I start to go about my life!!!
While it is true for animals that go about their lives are the way to happiness, for human beings, it all depends on what they consider to be the purpose of life.
Integration of Psychology & Spirituality To Realize Happiness
Psychology is a science in its infancy and when it is guided and tempered by the light of divine guidance it better serves the mental as well as the spiritual needs of forwarding human civilization.
The mental tests we have been for-warned are closing on our global society and we must prepare ourselves for the stormy ride.
Today, every person who has access to a computer can tell their story first hand and for the first time, we see the universal role of story in the globalization of human values. Humanity has the potential and chance to sail its ark towards a global spiritual civilization and salvation or crash it in the violent storms of conflict and separation.
Happiness has a spiritual answer.
Sandi Mann, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, offers a solution. As she outlines in her book, “Ten Minutes to Happiness“, her program takes the form of a daily journal, to be completed in six parts:
1. What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure?
2. What praise and feedback did you receive?
3. What were the moments of pure good fortune?
4. What were your achievements, however small?
5. What made you feel grateful?
6. How did you express kindness?
Much of the program builds on a vast amount of scientific research showing that taking a little time to reappraise your day in these ways can slowly shift your mindset so that you eventually find more happiness in your life. When we feel low, it can be easy to overlook the things that are going right – and keeping this journal brings them to the forefront of your attention.
Sandi Mann’s research shows that the seed of happiness resides in the human soul and one must take action to tap into his/her own spiritual and God-like reality. Human happiness has much to do with the expression of our humanity towards others.
Other pertinent questions to ask:
- How Psychology is converging towards spirituality.
- What are some examples of mental tests humanity, especially our youth are facing and what can we as a community do to help?
- What is the role of metaphors in the Writings in changing human values and the human brain?
- Why does the human brain enjoy stories and what does this affinity do for the power of story?
- How science confirms the wisdom of the command of Baha’u’llah saying: “O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.”
- How awareness of life after death serves as both prepare for a balanced and happy life and prevention from being caught off guard.
- How science and religion can work together to help transform our thoughts, views, feelings, beliefs, and real-world decisions?
- Why and how the messengers of God have used the power of story and narrative to teach, guide, and propel humanity through the successive and progressive revelation of values toward an ever-advancing civilization?
- What are the implications of prayer and meditation in the curriculum of Global Integrated Education and globalization of values; the eminent approach to the oneness of all humanity?
- What does science say about meditation and the way it changes our brains?
- What are some of the examples of psychology converging towards the Teachings of the Faith in recent years?
Our Cross Road today: A Civilization Torn by Strife
The Universal House of Justice wrote:
Apart from the spiritual requisites of a sanctified Bahá’í life, there are habits of thought that affect the unfoldment of the global Plan, and their development has to be encouraged at the level of culture. There are tendencies, as well, that need to be gradually overcome. Many of these tendencies are reinforced by approaches prevalent in society at large, which, not altogether unreasonably, enter into Bahá’í activity. The magnitude of the challenge facing the friends in this respect is not lost on us. They are called upon to become increasingly involved in the life of society, benefiting from its educational programs, excelling in its trades and professions, learning to employ well its tools, and applying themselves to the advancement of its arts and sciences. At the same time, they are never to lose sight of the aim of the Faith to effect a transformation of society, remolding its institutions and processes, on a scale never before witnessed. To this end, they must remain acutely aware of the inadequacies of current modes of thinking and doing—this, without feeling the least degree of superiority, without assuming an air of secrecy or aloofness, and without adopting an unnecessarily critical stance towards society.
Keyvan Geula is a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist specializing in the mindfulness approach in therapy, transformation, and education.
A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years, specializes in using the Bahá’í Teachings to identify theories, techniques, and approaches that produce the best results for her clients. She is the founder and executive director of the Center for Global Integrated Education, a non-profit Bahá’í-inspired educational organization.