Baha’i Month: Sultan/Sovereignty 1, 171 B.E. (1/1/2015)

“Hands may be black, white, yellow or brown, but the hue of the heart is one.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha’

The First Basic Baha’i Principle is:
“The Oneness of the World of Humanity.”

The first foundation stone is the Jasper; it is clear red, like the hue of the heart. In ancient times it was called the bloodstone.

Any historical ingenious theories of essential racial superiority, which many people still embrace, can not survive investigation nor the inquisitive examination of a sincere seeker. Foundations of racial superiority prove to be nothing more than expressions of national or racial conceit and pomposity, when considered without egoism or prejudice. There is simply no known fact of human anatomy or physiology which implies that the capacity for culture of civilization inheres in one race or another race of mankind.

The strength of a living society depends upon the unity of its millions of diversified individuals in a common ideology, which must be excellently suited to the needs and conditions of that society. The science of Anthropology has revealed to us our common ancestry. Beyond doubt it has proved totally and conclusively that the human race, though varying in color, size, and feature, is not made up of different kinds and species. Humanity is one, Homo Sapiens, MAN. We are one people from the same origin and with the same history.

“In every dispensation the light of divine guidance has been focused upon one central theme…. In this wondrous Revelation, this glorious center, the foundation of Faith of God and the distinguishing feature of His Law, is the consciousness of the oneness of mankind.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha’

Long experience is at last convincing men of the truth of the prophetic teaching that selfish views and selfish actions inevitably bring social disaster, and that if humanity is not to perish ingloriously, each must look on the things of his neighbor as of equal importance with his own, and subordinate his own interests to those of humanity as a whole. In this way the interests of each and all will ultimately be best served.

“That which the lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its people in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error.”

Baha’u’llah

We are all fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch, the flowers of one garden. This is most characteristic of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings onto us. The unity of mankind and of all created beings by God is the main theme of his teachings. Every member of the human family, whether of the peoples or of the governments, cities or nations, have become increasingly interdependent. For none, is self sufficiency any longer possible, in as much as political ties unite all people and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Therefore, the unity and oneness of all mankind can in this day be achieved.

The whole of mankind is groaning, yearning to be lead to unity and to terminate its age long martyrdom for oneness. It yet stubbornly refuses to embrace the light and acknowledge the sovereign authority of the one Power that can extricate it from its entanglements. Our human society is now close to approaching the stage which the unification of the whole of mankind can be realized. All of mankind is but of one origin, our Shepherd is the Loving God. Upon us are bestowed His Most Great mercies, for we are considered as one fold. The highest and most excelling grace bestowed upon men is the grace of ‘attaining unto the Presence of God’ and of His recognition, which has been promised unto all people. This is the utmost degree of grace vouchsafed unto man by the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days, and the fullness of His absolute bounty upon His Creation.

In human nature, there is a spiritual and intellectual potentiality for development of a higher and higher form of social order. This order itself may reach its ultimate-size and shape with the boundaries of the planet, which is in a world order, but development within that final commonwealth is unlimited. The very nature of things is in the realization of the inner potentialities of man himself towards spiritual evolvement and enlightenment.

Before us is unfolded a principle of oneness among mankind. From family life to tribal life, to city to state, to provinces, kingdoms, and nations, a veil has been lifted from our hearts, that we, all races of mankind, can come together as one, united together. No longer as races of men, but as a race of mankind united in oneness and in brother-hood.

“In that day, saith the lord of Hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.”

Zechariah 3:10

“The seventh foundation stone, the “pure Chrysolite,” is an exquisitely clear, slightly tinted green. We read in the ancient philosophies of the Chrysolite Tablet; it is the symbol of absolute sincerity and truthfullness, purity and selflessness. Only when our hearts are free from every form of prejudice can they become the “chrysolite tablet” whereon can be engraved our thoughts and motives.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha’

The Seventh Basic Baha’i Principle is:
“The Removal of all Prejudice, Religious,
Racial, Political, etc.”

Harmony and fellowship between peoples and nations is a necessary foundation for universal peace and world federation. So important, in fact, is this factor of friendship that Baha’u’llah in all preachments concerning the New World Order insisted on the elimination of prejudices of all kinds, whether religious, racial, patriotic, or political.

“All warfare and bloodshed in human history have been the outcome of prejudice. This earth is one home and one nativity. God has created mankind with equal endowment and right to live upon the earth. Racial prejudice or separation into nations proceeds from human motives or ignorance. Why should we be separated by artificial and imaginary boundaries? This is one globe, one land, one country.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha’

The roots of prejudice are deep seated in man’s biological and emotional nature. Primitive man shares with animals the instinctive aversion to everything different and foreign. Civilization has broadened the horizons of men’s minds and consciousness and has gradually brought all areas of the world into contact, so that foreigness “per se” is almost a thing of the past. But civilization by merely secular means has not proved itself capable of eliminating prejudice. As one source of prejudice dies down another source may spring up as the interest and desires of various groups come into apparent conflict with one another. Yet if humanity is to attain to organizational unity, to that ‘WORLD ORDER’ which we are beginning to envision not only a desirable but an inevitable goal if humanity is to survive, then somehow prejudice must be disposed of.

Since prejudice is a negative quality, a weed flourishing in our soils, what is needed is a positive and constructive treatment. Those things which conduce to unity will of themselves drive out prejudice. A fuller understanding of the economic and cultural interrelationship and interdependence of various nations and areas of the world will help to stimulate the awareness of the need of world unity.

“Close your eyes to racial differences and welcome all with the light of oneness. We desire but the good of the world and happiness of nations; that all nations should become one in faith and all men be as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race annulled …. Is not this that which Christ foretold?”

Baha’u’llah

Bonds of affection and unity are not established governments of legislative agencies of any kind. Even cultural reciprocity, while it nurtures enlightenment and dispels that fog of ignorance which has been stated to be the denest of all matter, does not engender affection. Mere absence of prejudice will not suffice. What is needed is the presence of an ardent constructive force such as only love can contribute. The opposite of hatred is lot the absence of this quality, but the activating presence of Love. Nothing else will suffice.

The natural field for developing a wholesome emotional attitude is in youth. In this field we see not only an increase in effort, but an increase in results. Adults have to be reconverted, reconditioned. It is a slow and difficult process. But youth can more easily be educated into new channels of perception and emotional reaction. And the earlier such education begins the more stable and advantageous the results.

Prejudice consists not only in preconceived ideas, but in obstinate attachment to outworn beliefs, methods, and institutions. Dogmatism and infatuation with our own theories impede the establishment of universal peace just as much as other prejudices. Abandonment of prejudice, therefore, implies not only a change in attitude, but a change in the social, economic and political structure of the world.

“And among the teachings of Baha’u’llah is that religious, racial, political, economic and patriotic prejudices destroy the edifice of humanity. As long as these prejudices prevail, the world of humanity will have no rest…. Therefore, even as was the case in the past, the world of humanity cannot be saved from the darkness of nature, and cannot attain illumination, except through the abandonment of prejudices and the acquisition of the morals of the Kingdom.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha’

Baha’u’llah includes among superstitions all those beliefs which have no foundation in fact, such as essential race superiority. It is obvious that their falsehood will be exposed upon investigation. But exposing false ideas is not sufficient to remove prejudice. A prejudice, predisposition or attitude has an emotional content, and emotions react only very slowly to reason. A new emotional stimulus, such as that provided by religion, is required to pry the patient free from his prejudice.

The abandonment of prejudices calls for nothing less than the relinquishing of the emotional attitudes aroused superstitiously in us during childhood. Such a process is painful. Only an utterly “radiant acquiescence” with the principle of Oneness, and all that it implies, can free us from these prejudices.

“This handful of dust the earth is but one home; let it be in unity.”

Baha’u’llah

http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/bahai-12-principles.html

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