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Soul Food
Two Wings
March 2014
Two Wings
March 2014
This program is dedicated to the principle of the equality of women and
men celebrating International Women’s Day 8th March.
As the Crow Flies
Bahá’í Prayer
Christian Writings
Islam. Qur'an 49.13
Tao Te Ching Vs 52
The Wings of One Bird
International Women’s Day
As the Crow Flies
Letter from a Suffragette
Statement from National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of U.S.A.
Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa
Alison McKinnon
Tenrikyo. Ofudesaki XIII.43-45
Mathnavi of Rumi
As the Crow Flies
Hindu Prayer,
Emily Greene Balch
Judaism. Midrash
Michael Fitzgerald
As the Crow Flies
Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in
the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and
prosperity be attained as they ought to be.
As the Crow Flies
Rebecca Bryan, Emily Wolfe, Violet Harrison-Day
O my God! O my God! Verily, I invoke Thee and supplicate before Thy
threshold, asking Thee that all Thy mercies may descend upon these souls.
Specialize them for Thy favor and Thy truth.
O Lord! Unite and bind together the hearts, join in accord all the souls, and
exhilarate the spirits through the signs of Thy sanctity and oneness. O Lord!
Make these faces radiant through the light of Thy oneness. Strengthen the
loins of Thy servants in the service of Thy kingdom.
O Lord, Thou possessor of infinite mercy! O Lord of forgiveness and pardon!
Forgive our sins, pardon our shortcomings, and cause us to turn to the
kingdom of Thy clemency, invoking the kingdom of might and power, humble
at Thy shrine and submissive before the glory of Thine evidences.
O Lord God! Make us as waves of the sea, as flowers of the garden, united,
agreed through the bounties of Thy love. O Lord! Dilate the breasts through
the signs of Thy oneness, and make all mankind as stars shining from the
same height of glory, as perfect fruits growing upon Thy tree of life.
Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Self-Subsistent, the Giver, the Forgiving,
the Pardoner, the Omniscient, the One Creator.
O Children Of Men!
Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust?
That no one should exalt himself over the other.
Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created.
Since We have created you all from one same substance it is
incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same
feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that
from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions the signs of
oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.
~ Baha'u'lláh: Hidden Words
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men
are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jeffersen
In the book of Genesis we read that ‘God created man in His own image;
male and female he created them’, thus affirming that men and women
possess identical spiritual natures.
The New Testament contains many examples of the spiritual equality
that was expressed in the attitude of Jesus Christ towards women:
the inclusion of women as well as of men in the parables, the healing of
women and of men, and the crucial role assigned to Mary Magdalene
are but the few examples of this perspective.
Much insight might be obtained from John, which tells of the encounter
between Jesus and the woman from Samaria; she is treated with
a courtesy and respect that amazes the disciples, she is converted by
Jesus to the new religion, and she becomes His emissary in proclaiming
His coming to the Samaritans in the city of Sychat.
The spiritual condition of women is described in the words of the New
Testament, which says, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are
all one in Christ Jesus.
~ from Christian Writings
04. In several places in the Qur’an, Mohammad sets out the
idea of the spiritual equality of men and women.
The following passage provides an example:
Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the
believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the
obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the
patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the
humble women, and the charitable men and the charitable women and
the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their
chastity and the women who guard their chastity, and the men who
remember Allah much and the women who remember; Allah has
prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.
~ Qur'an 33:35.
The universe comes into being through
The Mother of the world.
By knowing the Mother,
By coming to know the children,
We come to know Her.
So united are they.
One does not exist,
Without the other.
-Tao Te Ching Vs 52
As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest
possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness
which might be theirs.
Jack Davis
The Wings of One Bird
Man in our image, after our likeness does not mean that woman was not
created. The image and likeness of God apply to her as well…To accept
and observe a distinction which God has not intended in creation is
ignorance and superstition....
It is my hope that the banner of equality may be raised throughout the
five continents where as yet it is not fully recognized and established.
And let it be known once more that until woman and man recognize and
realize equality, social and political progress here or anywhere will not
be possible. For the world of humanity consists of two parts or
members: one is woman; the other is man. Until these two members are
equal in strength, the oneness of humanity cannot be established, and
the happiness and felicity of mankind will not be a reality.
The world of humanity has two wings - one is women and the other
men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should
one wing remain weak, flight is impossible.
Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the
acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be
attained as they ought to be.
~ Άbdul-Bahá
70% of the 1.4 billion people living in poverty are female.
Trickle Up Annual Report 2011
International Women’s Day
International Women's Day is dedicated to the celebration of women's
social, economic and political achievements worldwide. Over the years
International Women's Day has taken to the streets, sparked off a
revolution, met cosily at luncheons and concerts, rubbed shoulders
with royalty and ministers, demonstrated at the doors of newspapers
and welfare institutions, and has ushered in reform legislation towards
a positive future.
The history of the Day dates back to March 8, 1908, when 15,000
factory women marched through New York city demanding shorter
work hours, better pay, and an end to child labour. Since that time,
International Women’s Day has been widely accepted on a global scale.
In Australia it was first celebrated in 1928 in Sydney. International
Women's Day is about remembering the battles long fought to build
a society that is just and fair to all.
As the Crow Flies
Letter from a Suffragette
Dear Miss Goldstein,
Please find enclosed fees for entrance and membership in the Women’s
Federal Political Association, which I wish to join, because I was the first
for sixteen years previous to the formation of our Victorian Women’s
Suffrage Society and the only woman who publicly advocated the moral
right of woman to her share in political power: also, to other human
rights, university learning, and possession of her property after
marriage. Of course male opponents showed fight; but, during the
controversy, no woman offered public argument for or against, so I had
to combat inane and insulting opposition unaided by the sex I was
defending. To the press I was greatly indebted for support in always
granting space for publication of my opinion on the franchise for
women, then considered dangerous, revolutionary. I frequently
received private letters of thanks, which proved to me how far extended
was the ambition among women for legal justice in their lives.
I also desire membership of the W.F.P.A. as a link of goodwill between
the old, solitary worker, among thorns, of the past, and the present hive
of busy bees, having flowers of success around them, and a prospect of
blooms on the unproductive ground of the Legislative Council! It is not
likely I shall ever be able to have the pleasure of attending the meetings,
being in my seventy-seventh year, and painfully crippled by paralysis,
but so long as the cruel decay may leave brain uninjured, I shall feel
much interest in the doings of your wisely-instituted Association.
I remain, dear Miss Goldstein,
Yours faithfully,
(formerly Mary Dugdale, pioneer suffragist of Victoria.)
Australian Women’s Sphere, 10th August 1903
If society will not admit of woman's free development,
then society must be remodelled.
Elizabeth Blackwell (the first U.S. female medical doctor)
09. The Baha'i vision of equality between the sexes rests on the central
spiritual principle of the oneness of mankind. The principle of oneness
requires that we ‘regard humanity as a single individual, and one's own
self as a member of that corporal form', and that we foster an
unshakable consciousness that, 'if pain or injury afflict any member of
the body, it must inevitably result in suffering for all the rest'.
Baha'u'llah teaches that the divine purpose of creation is the
achievement of unity among all peoples.
~Abridged from a statement of the National Spiritual Assembly of
the Bahá'ís of the United States.
You cannot have peace without human rights, democracy, gender
equality, and clean water. Look to the root causes of war and you
will find, in their reverse, the root foundations of peace.
Cora Weiss
10. Woman does not have a soul of a different sex from that
which animates man. Both received a soul which is absolutely
the same and of an equal condition. Women and men were
equally endowed with the gifts of the spirit, reason, and the use of
words; they were created for the same end, and the sexual
difference between them will not confer a lesser destiny.
~Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa (c1486 -1535)
11. Helen Mayo: Doctor for Children
Helen Mary Mayo (1878-1967), was born in Adelaide and became a
leading light in medical practice relevant to the care of children.
She was the eldest of seven children, her childhood being spent in a
happy family atmosphere in which both parents played a large part in
their children’s development, boys and girls alike enjoying impromptu
natural science lessons from their father on bush rambles.
Educated by her parents to the age of 10, Helen then received morning
lessons from a governess. Her formal schooling was brief and included
short periods at private schools and two years at the Advanced School
for Girls.
Because she was “too young for medicine” she enrolled in Arts at the
University of Adelaide. After two years she transferred to Medicine and
topped her final year.
In 1904 and 1905 she gained experience in midwifery and children’s
diseases, working at St. Ormond Hospital in London, Coombe Hospital
in Dublin and St. Stephen’s Hospital for Women and Children in Delhi,
India. It was in India that she noticed a higher incidence in caesarean
births among women in purdah. The cause was attributed to rickets
although the link between Vitamin D deficiency and rickets was not
then known.
Back in Adelaide, she followed her major interest – infant health. In
1909 she established, with Harriet Stirling, a School for Mothers, the
origin of the later Mothers and Babies Health Association. With
government assistance and much voluntary work, the Association
advised and reassured generations of young mothers.
In the ethos of the scientific rationality which then prevailed, women’s
“natural” or “innate” mothering qualities were in question. Dr. Mayo
believed that women needed assistance in rearing healthy children. She
fought oppositi0n to the hospitalisation of sick babies and made a
systematic study of infant feeding and the problems of cross-infection.
Between 1926 and 1934, she lectured in the medical diseases of children
at the University of Adelaide.
Her long career spanned a period in which infant mortality continued to
~Abridged from Alison Mackinnon - The New Woman: Early Woman Graduates of
Adelaide University 1987.
Half a million women die unnecessarily from
pregnancy-related complications each year,
the causes of which are exacerbated by issues
of poverty and remoteness.
Faces of Poverty Around the World
All the people of the whole world are equally brothers and sisters.
There is no one who is an utter stranger. There is no one who has known
the truth of this origin. It is the very cause of the regret of Tsukihi (God).
The souls of all people are equal, whether they live on the high
mountains or at the bottoms of the valleys.
~Tenrikyo. Ofudesaki XIII.43-45
13. The one whose heart is most pure, whose deeds and service in the
Cause of God are greater and nobler, is most acceptable before
the divine threshold – whether male or female...Why should man, who
is endowed with the sense of justice and sensibilities of conscience,
be willing that one of the members of the human family should be...
considered as subordinate?... There must be no difference in the
education of male and female in order that womankind may develop
equal capacity and importance with man in the social and economic
equation. Then the world will attain unity and harmony...
~ Άbdu’l-Bahá
If the world sees a time when women shall come together
purely for the good of humanity, it will be a power
such as the world has never seen.
Matthew Arnold
14. Where are “We” and “I?” There where our beloved is!
O Thou, who art exempt from “Us” and “Me,”
Who pervades the spirits of all men and women;
When man and woman become one, Thou art that One!
When their union is dissolved, lo! Thou abidest!”
~Mathnavi of Rumi
As the Crow Flies
God Let us be united;
Let us speak in harmony;
Let our minds apprehend alike.
Common be our prayer; common be the end of our assembly;
Common be our resolution;
Common be our deliberations.
Alike be our feelings;
Unified be our hearts;
Common be our intentions; perfect be our unity.
~Hindu Prayer
I am not one of those who believe - broadly speaking - that women
are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted
legislatures, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but
then we must remember that we have not had the chance.
Jane Addams
16. The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has
dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and
aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is
already shifting; force is losing its dominance; and mental
alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service,
in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new
age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the
feminine ideals, or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which
the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more
evenly balanced.
Let us be patient with one another,
And even patient with ourselves.
We have a long, long way to go.
So let us hasten along the road,
The road of human tenderness and generosity.
Groping, we may find one another's hands in the dark.
~ Emily Greene Balch, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1946
18. I call heaven and earth to witness: whether Jew or Gentile,
whether man or woman, whether servant or freeman, they are all
equal in this: that the Holy Spirit rests upon them in accordance
with their deeds!
~Judaism. Midrash
We live in the shelter of each other.
Celtic saying
So may the Sun and Moon
be with us, and the Changeless One may our walk together
be until the end of darkness,
and the end of light may our words be like pearls,
and our days be like moonbeams may the rivers we live
be waters of much laughing in our times, may the world
forget to go to war may our songs be the world's song may our embraces deepen and ripen,
until at last, we are taken
into the deepness of God Forever.
~ Michael Fitzgerald: Holy Passion
I look upon all creatures equally; none are less
dear to me and none more dear.
Bhagavad Gita 9.29
20. The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and
the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in
strength, the bird will not fly. Until womankind reaches the same
degree as man, until she enjoys the same arena of activity, extraordinary
attainment for humanity will not be realized; humanity cannot wing its
way to heights of real attainment. When the two wings or parts become
equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of
man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary. Therefore, woman must
receive the same education as man and all inequality be adjusted. Thus,
imbued with the same virtues as man, rising through all the degrees
of human attainment, women will become the peers of men, and until
this equality is established, true progress and attainment for the
human race will not be facilitated.
Look upon all with the single eye of equality; in each and
every heart, the Divine Light is contained.
Shri Guru Granth Sahib
As the Crow Flies
Please join us for refreshments
Soul Food
Soul Food is an open community devotional event hosted at the Bahá’í
Centre of Learning on the first Sunday of each month. It provides an
occasion to be inspired and reflect on uplifting themes. Our programs
feature live music, audio-visual pieces and readings from various authors,
sources and Faiths - indigenous, ancient and modern- from all over the
Soul Food was initiated by the Bahá’í community in Adelaide and now
occurs in places around Australia and as far afield as Botswana, Africa. It
is also proudly supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Original programs are available for free download from
Soul Food
Venue: Bahá’í Centre of Learning, Hobart
Time: 3.00pm – 4pm
Upcoming Dates
May 4th
June 1st
July 6th
August 3rd
September 7th
October 5th
November 2nd
December 7th
A Home of Peace
Walking Together
The Dance of Life
A Sense of Time
Peace – Planet Dreams
Children – Our Most Precious Gift
Healing the Earth
Ode to Giving
join us:
for the next program “A Time for Renewal”
Sunday April 6th 3pm
Children’s classes in the Neighbourhood
Regular children’s classes are held in communities around Australia and aim to
nurture the hearts and minds of children with an emphasis on helping them to
reflect on, and apply, inner gifts and spiritual principles - such as love, unity and
justice - to their own lives and the lives of others. Based on the teachings of
Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, the classes seek to inspire in children
a love of God and His Messengers, and of humanity in all its diversity. Classes
include short lessons, story-telling, art projects, games, as well as prayer and
memorization of quotes from Sacred Texts to engage the whole child. Baha’i
children’s classes are open to all children, subject to parental approval. All
teachers are certified under the Baha’i Child Protection Policy, which includes a
mandatory police check. For inquiries or more information please call
Shohreh on 0419 585 453.
“Children are even as a branch that is fresh and green; they will
grow up in whatever way you train them. Take the utmost care to
give them high ideals and goals, so that once they come of age,
they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world…”
~ from the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith
Study Circles
The Bahá’í Community is offering a series of life-changing circles of study. The
purpose of these study circles is to provide participants with the knowledge,
spiritual insights and skills to enable them to contribute to the betterment of
society, starting with their own neighbourhood. This is done through systematic
study of a sequence of courses based on the Bahá’í Writings using the courses of
the Ruhi Institute. The first in the sequence of seven books is called Reflections
on the Life of the Spirit. It examines spiritual matters such as prayer, meditation,
life and death and the development of the soul. Study circles are held all around
Australia in an uplifting environment conducive to the spiritual empowerment of
individuals, who come to see themselves as active agents of their own learning.
The role of the study circle facilitator is not to impart knowledge, but to assist
discussion. Study circles feature participatory learning, involving discussion with
others, the use of the arts and are open to all. You are invited to take inspiration
from the Bahá’í teachings, benefitting from whatever gems of wisdom and
knowledge will help you to address the challenges you face. For inquiries or more
information please email Shirin at [email protected]
Junior Youth Groups
The junior youth spiritual empowerment program is open to young people aged
between 11 and 14, and assists them to navigate through a crucial stage in their lives.
Those in their early adolescent years possess altruism, a sense of justice, eagerness to
learn about the universe, and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better
world. Young people’s spiritual capacity, the basis for their own happiness and sense of
well-being, is a powerful force for social change. The program helps them form a strong
moral identity and empowers them to contribute to the well-being of their communities
and the world at large. By developing their spiritual qualities (virtues), their intellectual
capabilities and their capacities for service to society, the participants come to see that
they can become agents of positive change in the world. The program adopts a
participatory mode of learning where the facilitator (animator) and participants learn
from each other. Groups of participants engage in activities such as artistic expression,
discussion, drama, cooperative games, study of literature, story telling and acts of
community service. The junior youth program explores themes from a Baha’i
perspective, but is not a formal religious education program. Junior youth groups
meet on a regular basis, is open to all, subject to parental approval, and there is no
written homework. All program facilitators are certified under the Baha’i Child
Protection Policy, which includes a mandatory police check. Parents are welcome to
meet with an animator to learn more about the program.
The Bahá’í Faith
You can find out more about the Bahá’ís and their world embracing vision at or feel free to call 03 6234 7654 for more information.
All Soul Food programs are available for free download from