Wednesday, May 09, 2007

a resilient soul

Michael Jamir, who became a Bahá'í in March 1944, and this March turned 90, has left the cares of this world behind him and is free to lend his spirit to the advance of civilization.

In his life he directly brings together the countries and regions of Ukraine, the United States, some of the first Nations of America, Japan, the Caroline Islands, and then through his children to both Iran and the Marshal Islands so far. From Ukraine he comes by his parents. Michael was born, lived most of his life, and passed, in the United States. He served with some of the first Nations of America on inspiration from the example of a former House of Justice member and where he served at a time of growing emancipation and self-determination. Of Japan he entered as a medic and reunited the Baha'i world with Mr. Fujita. Pioneering to the Caroline Islands, and countless Assemblies and homefront pioneering posts in the Northeast, Midwest and South regions of the United States.

Please lend your thoughts and prayers to his family now briefly separated from him. First, his surviving wife Margaret, his companion for over 60 years. His son unfortunately passed before his father, but Vinson's family of Nura, their daughters Nasim Joy and Nahal Suzanne, and Michael's daughters Karla and Sally, with Karla's family with Paul, their children Jordan and Anna, and Sally with Steven and their child Katarina recently adopted from Michael's own parent's home country of Ukraine, are all dear to Michael and him to us.

Some of Michael's life story is published in "Why They became Baha'is: The First Generation Baha'is by 1963" starting on page 75. Michael's efforts are also mentioned in volume 11 of Baha'i World and the April 1947 issue of World Order.

Here's a picture of him.


Anonymous said...

Found another mention of Michael - "In the late 1940s the first Bahá'ís from abroad came to Japan, Americans with the American Occupation Forces. Names we can recall from the days immediately after the war are Mr. Michael Jamir, Mrs. Lorraine Wright and Mr. Robert Imagire. They managed to find some of the scattered Bahá'ís. Mr. Jamir wrote of his successful trips to find Mr. Torii and Mr. Fujita." - TRACES THAT REMAIN: A Pictorial History of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Faith Among the Japanese, By Barbara R. Sims, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Japan, 1989 see

Cameron said...

I saw where you responded to a blog entry of mine. I am really interested in learning more about the Baha'i faith because the only things I know are excerpts from websites and Wikipedia. I have ordered some texts from about it but I am eager to learn. I would love to know any information you are willing to share. My email address in I have a question for you -- from what I understand Baha'i followers believe in a supreme power, one God. As in several other world religions, monotheism is a common thread. Do Baha'i followers believe that the omnipotent God within each of the individual religions (whether it be Christianity's God or Islam's Allah) is the same God?

SMK said...

hey Cameron, welcome.... I'm just getting this blog slowly rolling along....

You said "from what I understand Baha'i followers believe in a supreme power, one God. As in several other world religions, monotheism is a common thread. Do Baha'i followers believe that the omnipotent God within each of the individual religions (whether it be Christianity's God or Islam's Allah) is the same God?"

This simple answer is yes, Baha'is believe it is the same God behind all the religions.

But that can say a lot. Hinduism of course is characterized as polytheistic and Buddhism is usually presented as atheistic. Christianity sometimes calls Jesus God while Islam calls that - making Jesus God - a great sin.

There are a few details to help. First is to shake off the manmade constructs we use to measure God, even if they are applied by people themselves. I can say with great sincerity that God is such and so but this must fail to encapsulate the reality of God - otherwise my own conception has defined what God is and is not and surely I can do no such thing! But one way of conceiving or relating to God is through attributes. Probably one of the most central review of this topic is from by one of the Central Figures of the Baha'i Faith - individuals with sacred authority in the religion in that their pronouncements are considered true guidance from God through them as vehicles and these records have been checked and rechecked for authenticity (often by their own hand, and originals in the archives which can be reviewed if one really wants to.)

If you check all the gods of Hinduism you find their names refer to various characteristics except a few who are superlative figures and seem more modes of being. Put all the attributes together and all the modes and you can have a singular God. Buddhism, while sometimes presented as atheistic in the west, also has theistic forms but beyond that large parts of what the Buddha said were in response to Hinduism have millions of gods - and idols at that sometimes. One way this is put with regards to atheism is "The god you don't believe in I don't either." As for the Jesus/God problem the simplest answer is the metaphor of the mirror and the Sun. The Sun is a different state of matter, 800 thousand miles across with 4 million tons of hydrogen being converted to energy every second. Millions of tons in addition or blowing off the sun as solar wind in all directions that will spend itself only after traveling some 40 AU - out past Pluto. But look in a mirror and you can see the Sun too. If the real sun has a flare on it, so does the one in the mirror. This is the metaphor for Jesus and other Founders of religions - They are as perfect mirrors for God to be witnessed by us even as God is actually transcendent and unbounded by the limitations of the mirror - but in ways that aren't so important for the early steps of understanding we have to grapple with on Earth.

So you get the picture - yes it's the same God behind all the religions. It's just not the same CONCEPTION of God behind all the religions. Nor does the Baha'i faith claim to be the final end of religion - we expect God to continue reforming the expression of religion on Earth. If we're lucky we wont repeat all the mistakes of the past as things move along....

Phillipe Copeland said...

Hello. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm going to include you as a link. I hope that you visit often and leave your thoughts. Slowly but surely we are beginning to see more people leaving thoughtful comments and I thank you for contributing to that.