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Editor: Dianne Bradford, 5384 Tansas Ln., Hilliard, OH 43026

Vol. 1, No. 7

     Topic: Peace and Unity                           Page 1
      This newsletter is dedicated to all seekers after the Eternal Truth.

The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.1

          In the above quote, the link between peace and unity is set forth in no uncertain terms by the One to Whom the Almighty and Omniscient God gave the Mission to establish both peace and unity in this world. Since the fulfillment of the promise of all past ages and religions to establish both the unity of and the peace among all humanity is God's purpose and plan for our age, naturally the means for bringing about this unity and peace , is central to the teachings of God's Messenger and Word for this age. To begin follows a few quotations from the Bahá'í writings for us as individuals to take to heart and to put into practice. Many of these should seem familiar to those who have tried to put into practice the spiritual precepts of other religions. This is because many of them are universal teachings renewed from age to age, such as along the lines of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and the teachings of virtues. In addition, stress is placed on the importance of recognizing and treating all of humanity as the brotherhood it truly is, thinking always of how we can serve humanity both as a whole and the individual members thereof. Thie first quotation is from page 94 of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh with an unequivocal statement from Bahá'u'lláh regarding how we need to adjust our "vision":
      Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.

      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.2

      It behooveth man to adhere tenaciously unto that which will promote fellowship, kindliness and unity.3          
      Strife and conflict befit the beasts of the wild. It was through the grace of God and with the aid of seemly words and praiseworthy deeds that the unsheathed swords of the Bábí community were returned to their scabbards. Indeed through the power of good words, the righteous have always succeeded in winning command over the meads of the hearts of men. Say, O ye loved ones! Do not forsake prudence. Incline your hearts to the counsels given by the Most Exalted Pen and beware lest your hands or tongues cause harm unto anyone among mankind.4

      O FRIEND!
      In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightengale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly. 5

      Verily I say unto thee: Of all men the most negligent is he that disputeth idly and seeketh to advance himself over his brother.6

     O SON OF MAN!
      Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.7
      consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship, to proclaim that which the Speaker on Sinai hath set forth and to observe fairness in all matters.
      They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations. Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.
           This Wronged One exhorteth the peoples of the world to observe tolerance and righteousness, which are two lights amidst the darkness of the world and two educators for the edification of mankind. Happy are they who have attained thereto and woe betide the heedless.8

      This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will
become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing
together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundations of true humanity.9                --'Abdu'l-Bahá

           O peoples of the world! The Sun of Truth hath risen to illumine the whole earth, and to spiritualize the community of man. Laudable are the results and the fruits thereof, abundant the holy evidences deriving from this grace. This is mercy unalloyed and purest bounty; it is light for the world and all its peoples; it is harmony and fellowship, and love and solidarity; indeed it is compassion and unity, and the end of foreignness; it is the being at one, in complete dignity and freedom, with all on earth.10

     . . . The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny.11

      O my friend! In all circumstances one should seize upon every means which will promote security and tranquility among the peoples of the world. The Great Being saith: In this glorious Day whatever will purge you from corruption and will lead you towards peace and composure, is indeed the
Straight Path.
           Please God, the peoples of the world may be led, as the result of the high endeavors exerted by their rulers and the wise and learned amongst men, to recognize their best interests. How long will humanity persist in its waywardness? How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and
confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society?
           This humble servant is filled with wonder,inasmuch as all men are endowed with the capacity to see and hear, yet we find them deprived of the privilege of using these faculties . . . The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective. I beseech God, exalted be His glory, that He may
graciously awaken the peoples of the earth, may grant that the end of their conduct may be profitable unto them, and aid them to accomplish that which beseemeth their station.12

      "The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet,
with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet--in the words of one great thinker, "the planetization of mankind."
           . . . The Bahá'í Faith regards the current world confusion and calamitous condition in human affairs as a natural phase in an organic process leading ultimately and irresistably to the unification of
the human race in a single social order whose boundaries are those of the planet. The human race, as a
distinct, organic unit, has passed through evolutionary stages analogous to the stages of infancy and childhood in the lives of its individual members, and is now in the culminating period of its turbulent
adolescence approaching its long-awaited coming of age. A candid acknowledgement that prejudice,
war and exploitation have been the expression of immature stages in a vast historical process and that the human race is today experiencing the unavoidable tumult which marks its collective coming of age is not a reason for despair but a prerequisite to undertaking the stupendous enterprise of building a peaceful world. That such an enterprise is possible, that the necessary constructive forces do exist, that unifying social structures can be erected, is the theme we urge you to examine. Whatever suffering and turmoil the years immediately ahead may hold, however dark the immediate circumstances, the Bahá'í community believes that humanity can confront this supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome.
Far from signalizing the end of civilization, the convulsive changes towards which humanity is being ever more rapidly impelled will serve to release the "potentialities inherent in the station of man" and reveal "the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality . . . " . . . The teaching that we should treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated, an ethic variously repeated in all the great religions, lends force to this latter observation in two particular respects: it sums up the moral attitude, the peace-inducing aspect, extending through these religions irrespective of their place or time of origin; it also signifies an aspect of unity which is their essential virtue, a virtue mankind in its disjointed view of history has failed to appreciate.
      . . .Had humanity seen the Educators of its collective childhood in their true character, as agents of one civilizing process, it would no doubt have reaped incalculably greater benefits from the cumulative effects of their successive missions. This, alas, it failed to do. . .
           . . . Most particularly, it is in the glorification of material pursuits . . . that we find the roots which nourish the falsehood that human beings are incorrigibly selfish and aggressive. It is here that the ground must be cleared for the building of a new world fit for our descendants.13

      Should any of the kings--may God aid them--arise to protect and help this oppressed people, all must vie with one another in loving and in serving him. This matter is incumbent upon everyone. Well is it with them that act accordingly.
           In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days.
           It is binding and incumbent upon the peoples of the world, one and all, to extend aid unto this momentous Cause which is come from the heaven of the Will of the ever-abiding God, that perchance the fire of animosity which blazeth in the hearts of some of the peoples of the earth may, through the living waters of divine wisdom and by virtue of heavenly counsels and exhortations, be quenched, and the light of unity and concord may shine forth and shed its radiance upon the world.
           We cherish the hope that through the earnest endeavours of such as are the exponents of the power of God--exalted be His glory--the weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the midst of men.14

      The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace, details of which have formerly been revealed from Our Most Exalted Pen. Great is the blessedness of him who upholdeth it and observeth whatsoever hath been ordained by God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.15
      These last quotes also lead nicely into the next series of quotations--ones that are directed to those in the world who occupy a position of leadership:
      . . . If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of
humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established amongst the children of men, and the
effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth. The Great Being saith: The structure of world
stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of
reward and punishment. And in another connection He hath uttered the following in the eloquent
tongue(Arabic.): Justice hath a mighty force at its command. It is none other than reward and punishment for the deeds of men. By the power of this force the tabernacle of order is established throughout the world, causing the wicked to restrain their natures for fear of punishment.16

      The Great Being saith: The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with the two luminaries of consultation and compassion. Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.
           At the outset of every endeavor, it is encumbent to look to the end of it. Of all the arts and sciences, set the children to studying those which will result in advantage to man, will ensure his progress and elevate his rank. Thus the noisome odours of lawlessness will be dispelled, and thust through the high endeavours of the nation's leaders, all will live cradled, secure and in peace.
               The Great Being saith: The learned of the day must direct the people to acquire those branches of knowledge which are of use, that both the learned themselves and the generality of mankind may derive benefits therefrom. Such academic pursuits as begin and end in words alone have never been and will never be of any worth. The majority of Persia's learned doctors devote all their lives to the study of a philosophy the ultimate yield of which is nothing but words.          
                It is encumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favourably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men.17

           We earnestly beseech God --exalted be His glory--to aid the rulers and sovereigns, who are the exponents of power and the daysprings of glory, to enforce His laws and ordinances. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the All-Powerful, He Who is wont to answer the call of men.18

           The Pen of the Most High exhorteth, at this moment, the manifestations of authority and the sources of power, namely the kings, the sovereigns, the presidents, the rulers, the divines and the wise, and enjoineth them to uphold the cause of religion, and to cleave unto it. Religion is verily the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the world and of tranquility amongst its peoples. The weakening of the pillars of religion hath strengthened the foolish and emboldened them andmade them more arrogant. Verily I say: The greater the decline of religion, the more grievous the waywardness of the ungodly. This cannot but lead in the end to chaos and confusion. Hear Me,O men of insight, and be warned, ye who are endued with discernment! 19

      The system of government which the British people have adopted in London appeareth to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship and the consultation of the people.20

                In these days it is incumbent upon everyone to adhere tenaciously unto unity and concord and to labour diligently in promoting the Cause of God, that perchance the wayward souls may attain that which will lead unto abiding prosperity.21
           O ye men of wisdom among nations! Shut your eyes to estrangement, then fix your gaze upon unity. Cleave tenaciously unto that which will lead to the well-being and tranquility of all mankind. This
span of earth is but one homeland and one habitation. It behooveth you to abandon vainglory which causeth alienation and to set your hearts on whatever will ensure harmony. In the estimation of the people of Bahá man's glory lieth in his knowledge, his upright conduct, his praiseworthy character, his
wisdom, and not in his nationality or rank. O people of the earth! Appreciate the value of this heavenly word. Indeed it may be likened unto a ship for the ocean of knowledge and a shining luminary or the realm of perception.22

                         I chose the following quote from Bahá'u'lláh to close this issue because of its simplicity, its power and, above all, for the hope and promise which it gives for the future of our troubled world:
                . . . We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations . . . That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers . . .Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come.23           --Bahá'u'lláh

What a wonderful and noble goal to work for!

1Baha'ullah, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas p. 1
2 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, p. 167.
3 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 90 .
4 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 85.
5 Baha'ullah, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh,, p. 23.
6 Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, pp 23-24.
7 Baha'ullah, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 10.
8 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 35-36.
9 quoted in 'Abdu'l-Bahá, H. M. Balyuzi, p. 141.
10 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 1.
11 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, p.164.
12 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, , pp. 171-172.
13 the Universal House of Justice, To the Peoples of the World A Statement on Peace by the Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, 1986, pp. 1-5.
14 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 22-23.
15 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 23.
16 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, p.164.
17 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, pp. 168-169.
18 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 29.
19 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 63-64
20 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 93.
21 Baha'ullah, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 60.
22 Baha'ullah, The Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 67-68.
23 as told to Professor E. G. Browne and quoted by him in his A Traveller's Narrative, 1891, p. xl.
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