Personal Pathway for Spiritual Growth
by David & Carol Bowie
Their approach is powerful, a good model for other commentaries and study guides, in my humble opinion. The emphasis stays on the Writings: in this case, the letter from the House of Justice, plus a brief compilation for each of the six points. They begin with a one page introduction putting the letter into context. After reprinting the full letter, they address each point in turn with a brief paragraph of commentary emphasizing the key principles from the Writings followed by compiled extracts relevant to that point.
Carol Bowie was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario where she became a Bahá'í in 1956. She has served in various Bahá'í administrative capacities, including 18 months on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, 11 years as an Auxiliary Board member from 1975 to 1986, and as Secretary of local Spiritual Assemblies. She has worked as an executive secretary, newspaper columnist and reporter, is a qualified Color Consultant and has been a guest lecturer at Carleton and Laurentian Universities in the 'Women and Religious Studies' programs.
David Bowie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and moved to Canada in 1953. Before coming to Canada he served two years in the Royal Air Force that included a 9-month stay in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). David was an electrical operator for Ontario Hydro for 35 years before retiring in May 1988. He became a Bahá'í in 1956 and has served on several regional and national Bahá'í administrative committees. He has also served as secretary of local Spiritual Assemblies. David completed his BA in Religious Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1987.
Carol and David have taught courses, together and separately, at Bahá'í winter and summer schools for over 30 years. They have also worked in Cable Television where they were the hosts for a variety of programs including open-line call-in shows. They have spoken at public meetings and informal gatherings in Canada and abroad. From 1990 to 1994 they served in the Assembly Development Consolidation Travelling Teaching program in Canada. Carol and David married in 1955 and they have four children and 11 grandchildren.
Together they have met with Bahá'ís in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Cuba, Botswana, Bophuthatswana, Swaziland, Transkei, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Cayman Islands, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Australia, and have visited Singapore and Malaysia briefly. Carol has also travelled to Israel, Kenya, Iceland and Canada's Arctic. In May 1994 they returned from a seven-month visit to South Africa during which time that country's transition to democracy took place.
Between May, 1988 and September, 1994 they travelled full-time as consolidation travelling-teachers in Canada and overseas. They settled in Abbotsford BC in November 1994 and then moved to Halfmoon Bay on BC's Sunshine Coast in June 1999.
Their particular interests are the Covenant, the Ages and Epochs of the Faith, the Majestic Process, the development of the institutions of the Faith particularly the National Convention, the Local Spiritual Assembly and the Nineteen Day Feast, the equality of men and women, Bahá'í elections, the relationship of the individual to the community, pioneering and travel teaching. Although they enjoy speaking at public meetings and firesides their special interest is in facilitating deepening sessions and summer schools.
Of their book, they write: "In a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Norway, dated 1 September 1983, the Universal House of Justice included a six-point summary of 'the essential requisites for our spiritual growth'. Written on behalf of the House of Justice, this significant letter expressed its confidence that if the believers practised the suggested disciplines they would penetrate the 'miasma of materialism' impeding the growth of the Faith in Europe. We should not think for a moment that our friends and neighbours are the only people susceptible to 'the glitter and tinsel of an affluent society.' Bahá'ís also must struggle against the 'inherited tendencies' of their societies and be conscious of the Guardian's caution that without that 'mystic feeling that unites man with God' religion 'will degenerate into a mere organization, and becomes [sic] a dead thing.' ... the following material will assist everyone to win a victory over the 'miasma of materialism' wherever it 'enshrouds the souls of men.'"
ISBN: 1-896331-34-3 or 9781896331348 | WMPub# 1020 | 5˝" x 8˝" | 24 pages chapbook | $4.50 CDN
Available In EBook Formats Here: $1.49
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