Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 61: Paul Hanley

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode, I’m joined by multi-award-winning writer, Paul Hanley, who has written thousands of articles and several books mainly about the environment, sustainable development, and agriculture. Paul tells us how he became a Baha’i, and about the extraordinary life of Richard St. Barbe Baker, the first global conservationist. We also discuss population growth, urban farming, how everything is interconnected, and the need for an ethical revolution in the world. I hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation!

Some of Paul Hanley’s books are:

Eleven by Paul Hanley
Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist by Paul Hanley
Richard St. Barbe Baker: Child of the Trees by Paul Hanley & Elizabeth Konn
The Spirit of Agriculture by Paul Hanley

* Baha’i Blog interview: Eleven – A New Book by Paul Hanley

* Baha’i Blog interview: Man of the Trees – A Book about Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist

* Paul was part of a group that received the Food System Vision 2050 prize from the Rockefeller Foundation, which you can learn more about here: kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin

* Find out more about ‘Men of the Trees’ here: International Tree Foundation

* Find out more about:
The Universal House of Justice
Shoghi Effendi
Abdu’l-Baha
The Bab
Baha’u’llah

* We mention:
the Shrine of the Bab
Baha’i Pioneering
The Three Protagonists
Baha’i Firesides
The Importance of Service in the Baha’i Faith
The Baha’i World Centre

* Paul shares the following quote from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

“We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.”1

* Paul mentions the film Frontiers of Learning

* Paul mentions the film Light to the World

* Rainn mentions the documentary The Man Who Stopped the Desert

* Paul mentions the work of World Food Prize Laureate, Rattan Lal

* Rainn mentions Mona Foundation, CEO, Mahnaz Javid: Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 49: Mahnaz Aflatooni Javid

* Paul mentions Richard St. Barbe Baker’s book called Sahara Challenge.

* Rainn shares this quote from a letter from The Universal House of Justice on economic life:

“Every choice a Baha’i makes—as employee or employer, producer or consumer, borrower or lender, benefactor or beneficiary—leaves a trace, and the moral duty to lead a coherent life demands that one’s economic decisions be in accordance with lofty ideals, that the purity of one’s aims be matched by the purity of one’s actions to fulfil those aims. Naturally, the friends habitually look to the teachings to set the standard to which to aspire. But the community’s deepening engagement with society means that the economic dimension of social existence must receive ever more concentrated attention.”

– Read the full letter here: Letter from The Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of the world, 1st of March, 2017.
– Listen to an audio reading of this letter here: Letter from The Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of the world, 1st of March, 2017 [AUDIO]

You can find all of our episodes here on the Baha’i Blogcast page, and be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more upcoming episodes on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud.

Thanks for listening!

-Rainn Wilson

  1. From a Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 17 February 1933, Compilation on Social and Economic Development, p. 4 []

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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