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Material advancement has been evident in the world, but there is need of spiritual advancement in like proportion. We must strive unceasingly and without rest to accomplish the development of the spiritual nature in man, and endeavor with tireless energy to advance humanity toward the nobility of its true and intended station. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 60.
After reading this quote from the Baha’i teachings, what do you think about humanity’s “true and intended station?”
Do you believe the human race has a noble destiny? Will we eventually conquer our global afflictions and unite? Or are we doomed to continue muddling along, with wars and hatred and materialism controlling our future like they’ve dominated our past?
Baha’is believe humanity has a great destiny, but achieving it is up to us:
The purpose underlying the revelation of every heavenly Book, nay, of every divinely-revealed verse, is to endue all men with righteousness and understanding, so that peace and tranquillity may be firmly established amongst them. Whatsoever instilleth assurance into the hearts of men, whatsoever exalteth their station or promoteth their contentment, is acceptable in the sight of God. How lofty is the station which man, if he but choose to fulfill his high destiny, can attain! To what depths of degradation he can sink, depths which the meanest of creatures have never reached! Seize, O friends, the chance which this Day offereth you, and deprive not yourselves of the liberal effusions of His grace. I beseech God that He may graciously enable every one of you to adorn himself, in this blessed Day, with the ornament of pure and holy deeds. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 205.
God in his wisdom has created all things. Nothing has been created without a special destiny, for every creature has an innate station of attainment. This flower has been created to mirror forth a harmonious ensemble of color and perfume. Each kingdom of nature holds potentialities and each must be cultivated in order to reach its fulfillment. The divine teachers desire man to be educated that he may attain to the high rank of his own reality, the deprivation of which is the rank of perdition. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 110.
This high destiny—a unified, peaceful and sustainable planet that recognizes and upholds the oneness of the human race—sometimes seems unattainable in the light of present-day realities. Our conflicts, hatreds and wars continue. But slowly, the Baha’i teachings tell us, humanity does make progress. We can advance, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith wrote on the eve of World War II, despite the enormous obstacles in our way:
The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The interdependence of the peoples and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the divisive forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished fact. Its unity in the economic sphere is now understood and recognized. The welfare of the part means the welfare of the whole, and the distress of the part brings distress to the whole. The Revelation of Baha’u’llah has, in His own words, “lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction” to this vast process now operating in the world. The fires lit by this great ordeal are the consequences of men’s failure to recognize it. They are, moreover, hastening its consummation. Adversity, prolonged, worldwide, afflictive, allied to chaos and universal destruction, must needs convulse the nations, stir the conscience of the world, disillusion the masses, precipitate a radical change in the very conception of society, and coalesce ultimately the disjointed, the bleeding limbs of mankind into one body, single, organically united, and indivisible. – Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, pp. 122-123.
That noble destiny, promised by Baha’u’llah, inspires Baha’is all around the world. Millions of people, committed to the deeply spiritual vision of a unified humanity, labor wholeheartedly for its achievement. We welcome anyone who would like to join us in accomplishing these lofty objectives:
The Oneness of the world of humanity, Universal Peace, Universal Love, International Co-operation and reciprocity; the promotion of the principles of human consanguinity and solidarity, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, first, in the hearts of man and then upon earth. These are the noble objective aims. Are you not in sympathy with them? Will you not also do your utmost to hasten that day? What harm is there in this? We are working day and night for the realization of these ideas and purposes. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 7, p. 14.