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A Vision of the Future: Playing Our Part

February 18, 2013, in Articles > Baha'i Life, by

Like many others, when I heard the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I wept. This was not the first massacre in the United States in recent years, but it was perhaps the most shocking.

When something like this happens, it raises a lot of questions. People begin to wonder how many more episodes of human cruelty will transpire in their lifetime, in their children’s lifetime. They wonder if humanity is, in fact, hopeless, and whether it’s even worth it to have children anymore. Just last night, one of my best friends from college told me he and many other couples he knows have decided not to bring kids into this crazy world.

In addition to asking questions, we seek answers.  In searching for solutions to this most recent crisis, we have blamed the mental health care systems. We have blamed poor gun control laws. We have blamed the lack of gun possession. We have blamed the lack of prayer in school. We have blamed atheists. We have blamed Hollywood.  We have blamed and blamed and blamed. But have we found any real answers?

The many culprits we like to finger for blame are indicative of the complexity of the situation we’re in and the depth of the crisis we face. They mirror the circuitous nature of the path we’re on.

We simply cannot continue on this path any longer. We cannot seek piecemeal approaches if we expect meaningful, lasting change.  We cannot keep pointing the finger and trying to blame this party or that party and actually expect to achieve the level of unity that we need to heal. We have to come to terms with a very difficult truth: humanity is sick. Not just Adam Lanza—the entire country. Not just the United States—the entire world.

The Bahá’i Writings often compare the human body politic to the actual human body. Just as a healthy human body would never pit one part of itself against another, humanity cannot do so and expect to prosper. In a statement released by the Bahá’i International Community in 1993, entitled The Prosperity of Humankind, the following comparison was made:

Bahá’u’lláh compared the world to the human body. There is, indeed, no other model in phenomenal existence to which we can reasonably look. Human society is composed not of a mass of merely differentiated cells but of associations of individuals, each one of whom is endowed with intelligence and will; nevertheless, the modes of operation that characterize man’s biological nature illustrate fundamental principles of existence. Chief among these is that of unity in diversity. Paradoxically, it is precisely the wholeness and complexity of the order constituting the human body—and the perfect integration into it of the body’s cells—that permit the full realization of the distinctive capacities inherent in each of these component elements. No cell lives apart from the body, whether in contributing to its functioning or in deriving its share from the well-being of the whole. The physical well-being thus achieved finds its purpose in making possible the expression of human consciousness; that is to say, the purpose of biological development transcends the mere existence of the body and its parts.

While there are certainly immediate measures that need to be taken, these do not address the root causes. Why do we have so much mental illness to begin with? Why are people so angry and desperate that access to a gun can virtually guarantee loss of life? At the root of all these problems is the fundamental illness of society. And at the center of this illness is a lack of unity. The whole body politic is suffering, and so each one of its members also suffers. No country, province, or people goes unscathed. One has merely to turn on the news to hear story after story of some sad, depraved, horrific thing happening in place after place.

Rather than feel hopeless about the future, however, these events can help to galvanize us into further action.  We know that we have all been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.  We each have a part to play in “remolding the institutions of society” and “broadening the basis”[1] of the foundations of a prosperous material and spiritual civilization.  We are conscious that “long-term solutions will require a new and comprehensive vision of a global society, supported by new values.”[2]

Under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice, and the care and protection of the Blessed Beauty, we are engaging in acts of service and community building that are providing the youngest among us with new ways of viewing the world and themselves in it; we are helping to foster a world civilization that acknowledges the diversity of its constituents, not as a threat, but as a very necessary aspect to its ultimate harmony and success.  Our young ones are learning to think about others before themselves, to regard service as a natural and joyful aspect of life, to view the world around them critically but constructively, and to bend their energies towards improving the legacy they will leave for those who come after them.

Though our hearts may fill with grief at the losses borne by our brothers and sisters, we can find comfort in the vision of the future that we know will come—one that generation upon generation will construct. The beloved Guardian reminds us:

There is no time to lose. There is no room left for vacillation. Multitudes hunger for the Bread of Life. The stage is set. The firm and irrevocable Promise is given. God’s own Plan has been set in motion. It is gathering momentum with every passing day. The powers of heaven and earth mysteriously assist in its execution.  Such an opportunity is irreplaceable… To try, to persevere, is to ensure ultimate and complete victory.[3]

[1] Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah

[2] Bahá’í International Community, 1991 Aug 13, “International Legislation for   Environment Development”

[3] Messages to America:  Selected Letters and Cablegrams Addressed to the Baha’is of North America, 1932-1946.

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Nava is the CEO of Ninth Mode Media, a production company dedicated to developing original content for film and television that grapples with themes of social significance through a hopeful lens. She’s based in Los Angeles.

Discussion 8 Comments

America’s greatest general of the 20th century aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Bay in 1945 warned the world as to our last chance to make peace and Britain’s greatest poet of the 19th century envisioned it ‘rapt in universal law’.

You have written that at the centre of our global illness today is a lack of unity. The advice you have cited from Haifa is not doubted. To suggest an addition to that advice as an antidote to the paucity of Declarations is not to challenge the authority of God’s central institution for our age.

The objective of my essay below is to achieve world unity in our time by putting into concrete practice a fundamental Baha’i principle.
It is the Baha’i principles alone which according to the sacred Texts will realize the vision of the future you and Baron Tennyson and all Baha’is pray for.

“The Price of World Peace” ([email protected]) 2013

“O God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s Desire.” The Báb
Did Shoghi Effendi know what unconscionably irresponsible choices humanity would make on the long march to realizing world peace? Yes, he wrote the future long ago, he detailed the dreadful price for peace and he outlined the installments. Perhaps his message is not widely discussed as its tone is explicit and terrifying. As the father of two youngsters I too prefer not to think of his prophecy. However, for our families’ sakes especially, we all need to comprehend his guidance and be prepared because he also confirmed the means to mitigate much unavoidable suffering. For this very reason I emphasized in my recent essay, Equal Rights For Principles, a remedy against the four horsemen of the Apocalypse but I did not mention the root of society’s cancer nor the ensuing devastation, which according to the beloved Guardian is inevitable

The Bahá’í International Community’s belief that world peace is equally inevitable is firmly centered in the Bahá’í writings too. (See The Promise Of World Peace, paragraphs one and two.) (*p 107.) Reassuring as this almighty promise is, true believers are in no way vicariously complacent for we know neither how long the process of achieving a meaningful peace will continue nor all the sufferings it will entail. Moreover, extracts below in the first instance from Peace Among the Nations, a document approved by the Universal House of Justice, and secondly from the Guardian’s pen indicate unimaginable havoc, universal fermentation and horrendous social upheavals existing within the framework of today’s evolving world order. This global political unity, known in Bahá’í parlance as the Lesser Peace, was foretold by Bahá’u’lláh in His tablets admonishing potentates of the nineteenth century to be reconciled with one another in the interests of world peace and the poor. Never in recorded history has the promise of world peace been attainable. What now then are the catalysts marking the transition from a warlike world to a peaceful one? And what are the opposing forces?

“Inevitably, the movement heading to world unity must encounter opposing tendencies rooted in stubborn habits of chauvinism and partisanship that refuse to yield to the expectations of a new age. The suffering imposed by such conditions as poverty, war, violence, fanaticism, disease and degradation of the environment to which masses of people are subjected is a consequence of this opposition. Hence, before the peace of nations matures into a comprehensive reality, it must pass through difficult stages, not unlike those experienced by individual nations until their internal consolidation was achieved. But that the process toward peace is far advanced can hardly be denied.”
Peace Among The Nations
Bahá’í International Community. Office of Public Information. 20-III-1999.

“The present world unrest, symptom of a world-wide malady, their world religion has already affirmed must needs culminate in that world catastrophe out of which the consciousness of world citizenship will be born, a consciousness that can alone provide an adequate basis for the organization of world unity, on which a lasting world peace must necessarily depend, the peace itself inaugurating in turn that world civilization which will mark the coming of age of the entire human race.”
The Guardian’s words above, 22-V-1939, in Selected Letters to the Bahá’ís of North America, forecast the mature sentiments ruling at the United Nations’ formation in 1945.

Regarding our collective maturation and Bahá’u’lláh’s statement on the last page of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: “We have appointed two signs for the coming of age of the human race”, the Universal House of Justice commenting in note 194 of that same Book has explained: “The first sign of the coming of age of humanity referred to in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh is the emergence of a science which is described as that divine philosophy which will include the discovery of a radical approach to the transmutation of elements. This is an indication of the splendours of the future stupendous expansion of knowledge. Concerning the second sign which Bahá’u’lláh indicates to have been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Shoghi Effendi states that Bahá’u’lláh, ‘…¬in His Most Holy Book, has enjoined the selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use, an injunction which, when carried out, would, as He Himself affirms in that Book, be one of the signs of the coming of age of the human race.’” (*pp 42, 106.) With this cure in mind glance again please at my opening paragraph. The Guardian’s following lines identify the source of the cancer and warn us that the future, our coming of age and proceeding to maturity, will include unparalleled events. Forewarned is forearmed!

“America Passing Through A Crisis”

“Moreover, the country of which it forms a part is passing through a crisis which, in its spiritual, moral, social and political aspects, is of extreme seriousness – a seriousness which to a superficial observer is liable to be dangerously underestimated.

“The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of morality as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in ever widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes of the entire nation.

“Parallel with this and pervading all departments of life – an evil which the nation and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that state and its satellites regarded as the sworn enemies of that system – is the crass materialism, which lays excessive and ever increasing emphasis on material well-being, forgetful of those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable foundation can be laid for human society. It is this same cancerous materialism, born originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent, contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations; spreading its ominous tentacles to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which Bahá’u’lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises which must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a fore-taste of the devastation which this consuming fire will wreak upon the world, and with which it will lay waste the cities of the nations participating in this tragic world engulfing contest has been afforded by the last World War, marking the second stage in the global havoc, which humanity, forgetful of its God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His appointed Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably experience. It is this same all-pervasive pernicious materialism against which the voice of the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant was raised, with pathetic persistence, from platform and pulpit, in His addresses to the heedless multitudes, which on the morrow of His fateful visit to both Europe and America, found themselves suddenly swept into the vortex of a tempest which in its range and severity was unsurpassed in the world’s history.” Shoghi Effendi Citadel of Faith p124. (See also pages 125-132)
Chapter entitled America Passing through a Crisis, 1954. (Emphasis added – PD)

The generation which almost completely ignored the warnings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and which became embroiled in the so-called ‘war to end all wars’ surely had less wisdom than our own? Repeatedly and emphatically, from 1911 to 1913 the Centre of the Covenant, Sir ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, K.B.E., pleaded for an end to war and prophesied accurately in extant documents the shocking and unexpected events of World War One, 1914-1918. Please God, let it be this generation of Bahá’ís to put into practice ‘the greatest virtue of the age’ (*p1) i.e. the foremost Bahá’í principle in making world peace real, the principle which, as stated in that same Promise Of World Peace, ‘necessitates the most urgent attention.’(*p113) Bahá’u’lláh has stated on the last page of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, His Book of Laws and the Mother Book of His Revelation, that the selection of a single language for the use of all on earth ‘will be the cause of unity and the greatest instrument for promoting harmony and civilization.’ (*p42) To my mind Tennyson’s vision of the future, published in England on the eve of the Declaration of the Báb in 1844 in Shiráz, and partially realized long ago, is not so much depicting the Day of Judgment and the end of the world but rather the dawn of a glorious new era, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era
Locksley Hall
For I dipt into the future, Far along the world-wide whisper of
Far as human eye could see The south wind rushing warm,
Saw the vision of the world, With the standards of the peoples
And all the wonder that would be. Plunging through the thunderstorm,
Saw the heavens fill with commerce Till the war drums throbbed no longer
Argosies(+) of magic sails, And the battle flags were furled
Pilots of the purple twilight, In the parliament of man, the
Dropping down with costly bales. Federation of the world.
Heard the heavens fill with shouting There the common sense of most
And there rained a ghastly dew, Shall hold a fretful realm in awe
From the nations’ airy navies, And the kindly earth saw slumber
Grappling in the central blue. Rapt in universal law.

(+) Argosy: a large merchant ship. Container ships, jumbo jets?)
* http://www.bahaindex.com/documents/ Lord Tennyson 1809 – 1892
Making_World_Peace_Real.pdf Poet Laureate 1850 – 1892 (*p91)

Paul Desailly

Paul Desailly (February 2, 2013 at 10:13 PM)

Thank you for taking so much effort to post your views on a variety of subjects….. I do get a better understanding of the subjects after reading your posts.. Thank you, again.

k. Rajadurai.

k. Rajadurai. (February 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM)

Thank you Nava for your lovely post beautifully blending sober-minded realism and inspiring idealism. And thanks to Paul for his articulate essay discussing the parallels of Tennyson’s famous words (written in 1835) in “Locksley Hall” and the Bahá’í Vision. Indeed, Tennyson’s words ring near-prophetic in their visionary penetration and their utopian dreaminess. Ironically, the poem in its entirety is in fact everything but utopian. For those who are not acquainted with it, it is about a soldier who has grown weary of war and decides to interrupt his march and enter a house known as the Locksley Hall. Whilst inside the house he walks down the memory lane back to his childhood and allows heart-warming dreams of a better world to comfort him in his depression. Unlike Bahá’u’lláh, Tennyson never seriously entertains the idea that the dream is actually achievable, much less that the time for its realization is NOW, and shouldn’t be put off if mankind intends to avoid the pitfalls of parochialism and insular ideologies.

One of the most thought-provoking and powerful verses on world unity that precedes Bahá’u’lláh is from his medieval compatriot — Persian poet Sa’adi (1184-1283). The poem depicts the world as a body whose members feel one another’s hurt. This famous poem is also displayed on the wall of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“Of One Essence is the Human Race,

Thusly has Creation put the Base.

One Limb impacted is sufficient,

For all Others to feel the Mace.

The Unconcern’d with Others’ Plight,

Are but Brutes with Human Face.”

The prophet Isaiah (circa 800-700 BC) as well as Jesus of Nazareth (circa. 2 BC – 30 AD) prophesied about a future “Kingdom of God” to be established on “earth”. The vision of Isaiah is perhaps the most well-known, the most ancient and the most vivid poetic scenarios of a future period of universal peace:

“…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (KJV, Isaiah 2:4)

A common feature among all of the foregoing visionaries (including the more recent ones to precede Bahá’u’lláh) was that they were men of high and noble thoughts. But their vision of universal peace and brotherhood was mainly a distant and dream-like yearning, theory or a prophecy (prophecy mainly in the statements of Isiaiah and Jesus).

The Persian Prisoner called for an end of an era of futuristic dreaming. I think it is safe to say that Bahá’u’lláh is the first historical figure to have championed the cause of unity of mankind. Bahá’u’lláh appears to be the only figure thus far to have unequivocally declared that he has personally come to unite mankind, with the power of his words and ideas which are to gradually penetrate the world, rather than in his lifetime. He declared that the time for unification and universal brotherhood is now, if mankind hopes to avoid further, and more violent, conflict and bloodshed. Bahá’u’lláh regarded the unification of mankind as his personal life mission and as his most important God-given commission. The great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), some half a century later, chose to restrict his high-minded mission to the attainment of India’s independence and unification. He succeeded in the former while he admitted to failing at the latter. Bahá’u’lláh’s various mentions of the unity of mankind were not restricted to veiled poetic verse (albeit he did that too) but explicitly discussed the “unity”, “union” and “unification” of mankind. He also offered lucid descriptions as to the nature of such a unity, the stages by which mankind will attain it, and prophecies as to its final achievement. Never did Bahá’u’lláh discuss mankind’s unification as a hopeful dream or a mere utopian vision (Blake, Tennyson), let alone as his personal belief (Krause, Ulysses Grant). He regarded it as a certain and inevitable fact. Moreover, Bahá’u’lláh stressed that mankind is one and inter-dependent whether or not it will admit it. He conditioned mankind’s well-being, peace and security to the realization of this fact.

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”

“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”

In many of his tablets Bahá’u’lláh emphasized that mankind’s recognition of its underlying unity is the pivotal and over-arching issue of our time. The term “zeitgeist” (“spirit of the age”) signifies a motive idea, a dominating character or a central trend of a certain historical period rather than a mere passing reference to a utopian vision or a theoretical possibility. Bahá’u’lláh in many ways was the zeitgeist of our age.

Bahá’u’lláh described generously in many of his tablets the harrowing afflictions which a stubborn mankind must face in order to establish its unity. He spoke of the “Lesser Peace” which shall be established first, following world-gripping afflictions that are the natural consequence of deeply entrenched loyalties to smaller groupings (whether national, religious or otherwise). “The Most Great Peace” shall unfold much later as a result of mankind’s slow awakening to its spiritual reality and inherent nobility. Bahá’u’lláh’s descriptions were holistic and they stood apart from mere secularist scenarios of economic and political union (President Ulysses Grant during the time of Bahá’u’lláh) as well as from esoteric mysticism (Blake and Krause). Rather than being content with drawing a mere mental picture and an inspiring vision, Bahá’u’lláh was more interested in concrete actions and measures.

Bahá’u’lláh is also the first person to have instructed all the world’s nations to adopt a universal auxiliary language and to observe the principle of collective security (which is today formally incorporated in the UN and NATO charters — “an offense against one member-state is an offense against the entire alliance”). Unlike these treaties, however, Bahá’u’lláh insisted it has to be an absolute global principle and fully enforceable in order to actually work. This, in turn, would entail some manner of supranational government.

For Bahá’u’lláh unity was his mission in life and he wrote from his prison to the most influential kings and rulers of his time. He advised them to unite, to resolve their differences and to ensure universal peace. He told them to view the world as a sick body whose component elements are interdependent and must be harmonized in order for it to heal. He warned the world leaders about the catastrophic conflicts that are the logical consequence of ignoring his advice.

Bahá’u’lláh also seems to be the only figure in the history of mankind to declare the unification of mankind as the Will of Almighty God Himself, and as His personal commandment to all the world’s peoples. A commandment the observance to which will result in well-being and security, and the neglect of which will result in ever-increasingly destructive crises. Bahá’u’lláh declared the unity of mankind to be, in this day and age, “the monarch of all aspirations”.

“That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 250)

What adds to the strangeness of his universal mission is the fact that almost all of the cosmopolitan-minded contemporaries of Bahá’u’lláh — poets, philosophers, political visionaries — who had in one or another way envisaged world peace and universal brotherhood, were Western thinkers, highly educated and well-known aristocrats pampered with luxuries and ease.

What was Bahá’u’lláh? An unknown prisoner, an outcast, a target of constant persecution. He had never had the time nor luxury to read books or to engage in private contemplation. He was born and bred in one of the most violent and backward corners of the world at the time. He paid for his views by imprisonment, torture and the mass-murder of his followers and loved ones. All of this was going on while his contemporaries in the West sat in their comfortable armchairs, smoked their pipes, lived in the world’s technologically most advanced parts and represented their wealthiest classes.

And yet this far-off exile in Ottoman Palestine appears to have been the only figure in the history of mankind, and the only 19th century personage, to champion the cause of unity, to make it his life mission, and to set it for all men and women of our time as “the monarch of all aspirations”.

Sam Karvonen

Sam Karvonen (February 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM)

Yeah that’s what I’m tlaking about baby–nice work!


Sanaa (April 4, 2013 at 3:52 AM)

[…] the blog post here. Share this:PrintEmailLike this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Community News by […]

The world, not just the USA, is full of people who express anger, violence, and hatred in tragic, headline-making ways, and many of their actions don’t even get reported. Women and children are trafficked daily; women are raped daily (who would have thought that if you send your daughter to a US college or university, she has 1 in 4 chances of being raped while there); people are killed daily, intentionally or as innocent bystanders; children are abducted, raped and killed daily. Mass killings happen periodically, but the same number of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy, are killed something like every 40 days in the US alone. I live part of the year in Africa, in a culture where people are poisoned, killed as voodoo sacrifice to get money, and brutally hacked at with machetes in one tribal or religious conflict or another, by people who may also attend church or mosque every week. Albinos (Africans who are born with little pigmentation) are being targeted in east Africa, as “traditional practitioners” (I would have said witch doctors) tell their “patients” to bring them the arm or hand or head of an albino in order to cure some disease or another. A criminal recently caught stealing something in a nearby city was placed inside truck tires and set on fire by an angry mob, rather than just being restrained and handed over to the police. And on other continents, acid is thrown on unwanted or unfaithful wives, a woman is violently raped on a bus to the point of death, a servant who drops a platter is whipped until dead. All around the world, drug pushers get people hooked, and drug growers make billions of dollars in profit. And if the farmer who was growing the drugs for them has bad weather and a bad crop and can’t repay his seed money, they demand his 10 year old daughter in payment. (She will never be seen again. And if the farmer refuses to turn her over, he is killed and she is taken anyway.) And I’m not even mentioning the “regular” wars and conflicts underway in various parts of the world that result in so much loss of life and destruction every day.

If I weren’t a Baha’i, I would be very depressed indeed, overwhelmed by the scale of darkness and violence around us which only seems to get worse and worse every year, and my inability to counteract it except on a very small scale. Where does all this darkness, hatred and violence come from? Why does it seem to be on the rise, not on the wane? Certainly, some of it is mental illness. Certainly, some of it is entrenched cultural or ethnic or religious prejudice. Certainly, some of it is simple ignorance, even among educated people. Regardless the cause, it reflects a lack of value of human life, and no value to the life of the soul in the world to come.

We are peacemakers, but we are small in number, insignificant in all but a few areas of the world. Most people I meet as I travel around have never heard of us yet. We don’t tend to make headlines, and we can’t afford the full page ads.

We are told to pray, fast, fight our own spiritual battles, give to the fund, and persevere in service and core activities. Yet we know it is only with the breaths of the Holy Spirit that our efforts can be effective. So it is all the more important that we take the time to enrich our spiritual lives. This is not an easy thing to do, given the hectic pace of life, especially for folks with demanding family and work obligations that leave them exhausted, with little time for prayer and meditation. But there it is… if our hearts don’t glow, if people don’t look at us and see peaceful people doing their part to build the kingdom of God on earth, in communities which reflect respect, kindness and compassion for all, then how can we effectively give the glad tidings?


Kimberlee (February 2, 2013 at 2:46 AM)

Sam has referred to ‘Utopia’ or ‘no place’ vis-a-vis its Greek original meaning and he has rightly pointed out that it is the Baha’is who put Utopia into a real concrete happening place
Kimberlee’s final words ask how will the Baha’is ‘give the Glad Tidings?’
There is only one solution according to the Guardian and that solution is not quite the same as living the Baha’i life as noted in Kimberlee’s sad but true assessment of all the cruelty around us:

“Humanity, through suffering and turmoil, is swiftly moving on towards its destiny; if we be loiterers, if we fail to play our part surely others will be called upon to take up our task as ministers to the crying needs of this afflicted world. Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching – no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character – not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and skeptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.” Shoghi Effendi, 24 September 1924 (Bahá’í Administration p66)

Living the Baha’i life it seems to me will bring about personal salvation while putting the fundamental principles into action will actually in concrete means bring about the Triumph of the Cause

Many of the best known adages and profound aphorisms of the Bahá’í Faith as cited in Sam’s wise words quoting the Gleanings are found in the midst of discourses by its Central Figures on world peace and unity of language :

“The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny…The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential. It is incumbent on every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action…That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” THE EARTH IS BUT ONE COUNTRY…is perhaps the most quoted axiom in the Baha’i world but few methinks associate it with the universal auxiliary language principle, i.e. solution

It is interesting to read the entirety of Gleanings CXV11, recorded here in full and in continuity as it appears in the English and Persian versions. The first part reveals the necessity of an all embracing assemblage of men which must consider practical ways to establish world peace. The word “men” takes the Persian original meaning of people, not only males. Bahá’u’lláh then adumbrates the foundation of a method to achieve peace. At the midpoint of this same epistle the Lord of the Age appears at first to refer to a completely unrelated topic, i.e. a universal language. However, upon reflection we may discover that to convene such an efficient and just meeting whose aim is world peace and whose members embrace all peoples, requires the raising of the language issue.

And again Sam goes to the same Source for a solution quoting :

“That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.”

Baha’i love from Down Under


Paul Desailly

Paul Desailly (February 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM)

A vision of the future depends on an understanding of the present and a view of the past. Indeed, many fields of knowledge are related to such a vision. The pessimist, the optimist, the practical realist, the nihilist, the skeptic and the cynic all have their visions, visions that are the product of their temperamental orientation to life, their philosophy, and their view of reality. Readers who would like to see how I draw on several of the social sciences and humanities, as well as the physical, biological and applied sciences in underpinning my vision can do so at many of the sections of my website at: http://www.ronpriceepoch.com/ ….or http://www.ronpriceepoch.com/SOCIOLOGY.html ….or http://www.ronpriceepoch.com/PHYSICAL.html


RonPrice (March 3, 2013 at 6:01 AM)

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