Unity of Mankind

December 03, 1999
Baha’is of Santa Paula
By Mark A. Eaton Baha’is of Santa PaulaIt is not illogical to consider for a moment that the religions of the world are as the various grades in school, and of mankind as the pupil who is growing in knowledge and in wisdom, as well as in stature as he progresses from one class to the next. And that he does not discard what has been learned in the first grade because he has advanced to the fifth or the tenth, or even into the University, but is always adding to his store of knowledge and skills.The four basic spiritual teachings of all the religions have been the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, the Authority of the Prophet, and the Life after Death. It is certainly so in the case of the Baha’i Faith, for in this Faith Unity is the watchword for this Dispensation, as Love was that of the Christian Dispensation, or Submission to the Will of God in the Faith of Islam. We find no thinking person denying the need for Unity but all people searching for the point of Unity. Some of the Baha’i principles are certainly points of unity. Consider equality between man and woman; lack of prejudice of race, creed, class or nationality; universal peace; universal education; a universal auxiliary language; a world federation and international tribunal.Men have learned to talk in terms of world wars, world peace, world language, world federations, world economy, and we live in a world which has actually contracted into a neighborhood through the agencies of transportation, economics and intercommunications. Why, in the name of everything that is consistent, is it so difficult to understand the teachings of a Prophet with a world message?All the divine Manifestations have proclaimed the oneness of God and the Unity of Mankind. They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity. The fundamental truth of the Manifestations is Peace. This underlies all religion - all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another. Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. Read the Gospel and other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore Unity is the essential truth of religion and when so understood embraces all the virtues of the human world.
Man’s innermost belief is the basis for the real worth of his character and whether he believes it or not those beliefs are in reality his religion. Religion is the ideal which a man follows. It influences his character and elevates his whole life. It teaches him a true value by affirming that human life is but the beginning of a greater one to come after death, and which depends on the way the present one is led, just as our tomorrows are the results of actions done today.Baha’is believe that achieving racial unity and eliminating prejudice is the most challenging issue facing our nation, and that America can only achieve its high destiny through the unification of its rich and diverse racial elements. Baha’i Holy writings state that “The happiness of mankind lieth in the unity and the harmony of the human race.” We must not be afraid to talk about the subject. It’s when people don’t talk that problems fester and perpetuate themselves. Take a stand, be a role model, and let others know that diversity and its appreciation are important to you. The rewards are many as noted in another quote from Baha’i Scriptures, “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”The Baha’i Faith is an independent world religion with adherents in virtually every country. More than 2000 ethnic groups and tribes are represented in Baha’i membership. There is no clergy in the Faith, but in each incorporated city where nine or more adult Baha’is reside a Local Spiritual Assembly is elected and they administer to the local Baha’i community.For additional information regarding the Faith, inquiries may be made to the local Assembly at 525-5455, or visit the website at 222.us.bahai.org

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