I have had the fortune of teaching a master’s course on Understanding Motivation and Emotions to underprivileged Baha’i students In Iran who have been barred from attending university because of their beliefs for thirty years.
As the executive director of CGIE whenever I interview intern volunteers to work for the Center in the US, often they ask what a Baha’i-inspired non-profit means. As a result, I have developed a very short and also long explanation to answer their question.
As a medium size response, I say: Baha’i inspired means that we acknowledge three basic onenesses in our educational approach. First, we must acknowledge the oneness of all humanity. Just as the human body is at its best when it functions as one harmonious organic entity and it can only release its full potential when all the organs and cells work in perfect harmony and balance with each other, so is the body of humanity an interdependent organic reality and all of its cells must work in harmony and balance with the other for this body to release its full potential and appear in utmost beauty and power. The picture above is a real example of the expression of this unity and beauty.
Then I am asked about the issue of diversity. My response is; that diversity is only an asset if it is under the bigger umbrella of unity and oneness of all humanity. In the context of oneness, all diversity becomes a cause of beauty and power. In any context lesser than the global matrix of organic oneness of all humanity, diversity becomes an excuse for claiming superiority or entitlement, and our lesser loyalties without the highest identity that we are all children of one father and mother bring division, violence, destruction, and ultimately powerlessness and death. Our present world has plenty of diversity and lesser identities and very little unity and the result is no trust, no peace, and tranquility, and no environment for learning and release of our human potential. Integrated education cannot take place when people for whatever reason are afraid of each other and feel powerless to connect with their fellow human beings.
In order to appreciate and truly live the principle and law of the oneness of all humanity, we must also address the important issue of the oneness of a Universal and unknowable Creator. If we consider our particular perception of God better and superior to the perception of others then we find plenty of reasons to claim distinction for ourselves and harbor in our hearts many reasons to be more equal than those who have a different set of beliefs.
The virtues of humanity such as truthfulness, patience, forgiveness, generosity, compassion, love, humility for all humanity, and respect for life are virtues that are safe to make us distinct as human beings. In the animal Farms of George Orwell, initially, all animals were equal but pretty soon some were declared more equal than others!! So much of the population of this planet see themselves and their own group as more equal than others due to the way they perceive God. Integrated education appreciates the loving adoration of the heart towards an all-loving Creator who answers the prayers of all who reach up to Him. Science now also claims we are all hardwired to connect to each other and also hardwired to connect to our one and only loving Creator.
Now if all humanity is one interdependent organic entity and we all are hard-wired to turn towards one point of adoration like the flowers of one garden who all turn towards the loving sun we can reasonably conclude that all spiritual education comes from the same source of enlightenment. This makes it easy to understand that the Divine Teachings like the light of the Sun have continuously been bringing us many seasons and years of growth in similar cycles as the natural sun has. Religions are all chapters of the one and only Book of Divine Educator and every Messenger of God be it Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha’ullah has been a perfect mirror of the Divine Instruction and Will to the humanity of His time.
A Baha’i-inspired Integrated education is of the belief that all children can feel safe and in harmony with one another under the unifying umbrella of the oneness of all humanity, the oneness of God, and the oneness of all God’s religions. This foundation of peace and equality is necessary and basic for everyone’s human potential to be actualized.
Keyvan Geula is a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist; LMFT. She received her Master of Science in Marriage, family, and Child Therapy from the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. She employs the latest research in behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and the Baha’i principle of the oneness of all humanity to serve the well-being of her clients.
She offers her services as a clinician, lecturer, trainer, and supervisor to a global set of clients in person and online. In her clinical work, she incorporates the wisdom of the Baha’i Writings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Mindfulness meditation, and consultation skills, as well as knowledge of the spiritual self.
She is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Sciences at Citrus Community College, faculty of continued education at Claremont Graduate University. She teaches psychology online to students at Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Global Integrated Education (CGIE), a non-profit Baha’i-inspired educational organization, which explores oneness of all humanity, and teaches the integrated mind-body-spirit approach in education.
She has served for two years as the producer and host of a two-hour weekly live radio show for the Persian community in Sothern, California focusing on the role of the psychology of spirituality in personal and social transformation, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and a greater sense of harmony in a global society. She also has been the host and producer of TV series called Transforming Human Consciousness for eight years. She regularly writes and blogs on www.cgie.org/blog on topics related to integrated education, the oneness of humanity, the powers of the human spirit in the betterment of global society, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, and education reform. Some of her shows are posted on her; Keyvan Geula YouTube Channel.
Mrs. Geula has served in several Baha’i institutions since her youth in Iran and USA.