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As global integration drives itself forward on technologies, transportation and commerce, it forces the people of world to recognize their interlocking destiny.

In environment, health and security, we are all subject to the same enormous commonalities:  the oceans, the atmosphere, the meltdown of our polar ice reserves, desertification, and pandemics for starters. We are already one people in all such involuntary aspects of global integration. We are already united; we’re just not doing it as well as we might.

What remains for us to accomplish are those voluntary aspects of integration that would enable us to merge our diversity of intelligences into a creative synergy sufficiently powerful to solve and resolve the common dilemmas into which we have fallen. Creative synergy. We need it. We want it. Most of us. So why isn’t it happening?  What is keeping the world of human intelligence fragmented?

Into this miserable malfunction comes a new vision of our common future. In the words of Baha’u’llah, we have reached a point in history where all humanly-conceived sources of disunity have been rationally removed, leaving only the “holy book” of our innate commonalities:

We have, on the one hand, blotted out from the pages of God’s holy Book whatsoever hath been the cause of strife, of malice and mischief amongst the children of men … – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 97.

Concurrently, he reminds us that humanity has matured into all those qualities we need to live and work together successfully:

… and have, on the other, laid down the essential prerequisites of concord, of understanding, of complete and enduring unity. – Ibid.

The Baha’i teachings foreshadow that this world will, over time, evolve an operating political economy so characterized by justice and prosperity that it will be worthy of the title “Commonwealth.”

How could that ever happen?

The World and its Nations as Analogies of a Family

This article is the first in a series on interwoven social worlds, each of which  are variations on the theme of family. However, so damaged is our historic and contemporary experience of human families, so deep our disappointment, so tragic the frequent disunity of its members or dissemblance to appear united, that for a moment let us consider non-human families such a wolves or lions.

A family of wolves interacts in systematic ways. They are a social system–that is to say, a set number of entities interacting according to an overriding principle or pattern. The governing principle here is not to eat–but to learn to hunt so they can eat. Essentially, then, learning becomes the transcendent principle in all families: more mature members of the system help the less mature to grow and learn until they in turn become positive contributors to the system. The family essentially incubates capacity. In the same way, the family of nations can expand humanity’s capacity.

An Emerging World Commonwealth

Far from expecting a simple meltdown of distinctions into one totalitarian system, Baha’is anticipate a  united world exhibiting a sophisticated balance of creative tensions among three levels of aggregation: a world-embracing forum for planetary self-governance; a continuing set of autonomous nation states; and a multitude of world citizens each exercising personal freedom and initiative.

The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Baha’u’llah, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. – Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 203.

Releasing Creative Energies

A planet that has established its commitment to integrating  humanity’s intelligence will cease to squander its resources on competition and conquest between nations. It will indeed melt its “swords into ploughshares.”  Immeasurable resources will then become available for redirection to creating a commonwealth of social development. As an expression of our rising tide of creative energy, we, the peoples of the world, will eventually actualize the essential rights and freedoms we have universally come to endorse, by turning them into standards of cultural behavior that no nation can be permitted to violate against any people within or beyond its borders.

There is nothing trivial, superficial, or partial about the change now taking place in our human sense of identity as children of this Earth and citizens of this world. We are entering into an age of global synergy which the Baha’i teachings promise, is:

… an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced … the achievement of [the] organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations. – Ibid., pp. 43, 163.

You’ll find much more on this topic in “The Global Family,” a  chapter of Elaine McCreary’s new book Our Seven Families, published by GR Books, available at Amazon.com.

8 Comments

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  • Robert Green
    Nov 28, 2018
    "An Emerging World Commonwealth
    Far from expecting a simple meltdown of distinctions into one totalitarian system, Baha’is anticipate a united world exhibiting a sophisticated balance of creative tensions among three levels of aggregation: a world-embracing forum for planetary self-governance; a continuing set of autonomous nation states; and a multitude of world citizens each exercising personal freedom and initiative."
    this is what we need to be able to explain in plain and simple terms... :) im having difficulties too. sooo much to cover, and still be brief...
    • Elaine McCreary
      Nov 30, 2018
      Having previously mentioned a model similar to the US federation, last night found this statement of the Guardian: "You can best serve your country...as a citizen of the world, to assist in the ...application of the principle of federalism, underlying the government of your own country, to the relationships now existing between the peoples and nations of the world." (ADJ, p.88)
    • Elaine McCreary
      Nov 28, 2018
      Hi Robert, I like the "plain and simple" part (!) but it's easier said than done... Help me if you have poli-sci experience, but I understand that the USA is a "federation" in which certain rights are given to the federal government and everything else remains with the individual states. The converse is the case in Canada where a "confederation" gives explicit rights to the provinces and defaults everything else to the federal government. Europe seems to be trying to decide which model to follow; currently seems to be a federation like the USA. It ...might be simple and effective to tell people a model like the US may be invented at the world level. (Hoping for the best here!)
      Read more...
  • Nov 22, 2018
    This concept seems to be more strongly in the air right now. It reminds me of the organic change that happened in the 60’s among the youth. Although short lived in some ways it left a mark still felt today. This feels much bigger and broader so I am anticipating something very world embracing and life alternating for us all. We so need it! Thank you for this inspiring article!
    • Elaine McCreary
      Nov 25, 2018
      Oh Patricia, you raise a warm and haunting memory of the '60's when there was indeed a strong sense of organic unity prevailing that seemed to make politics and economics irrelevant to unity. Sixty years later, our world mind is beginning to catch up with the vision of Baha'u'llah that the patterns of political-economy, like those of architecture and music are not only relevant to unity, but can also be sacred in their form.
  • Rosslyn and Steven Osborne
    Nov 22, 2018
    Living in todays world I see massive negativity and feel sad, but then I catch snippets of what Bahá-u-alláh has promised in humanities 'becoming mature'... I won't be around to see the fruits of humanity treating each other as brothers and sisters of one human race, but the thought of this happening keeps me striving to help in my small way to achieve spreading the Word to make this happen. Thank you I needed to read this tonight... Ros
    • Elaine McCreary
      Nov 25, 2018
      Oh thank you for saying this Ros. How could any of us carry on without encouraging each other through the powerful insights of Baha'u'llah? My sister is a math teacher (God bless her!) and she recently told me her colleagues sometimes refer to a student with "emerging" math abilities. ha ha Perhaps that is how God views us, as "emerging" human beings! Baha'is have a long-range, historical view. For us, the gradual sanctification of the human race is a natural process; and Baha'u'llah assures us that peace (unity) is not only possible, but inevitable. p.s. ...Every time you help "in my small way", at that moment, unity has already arrived.
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    • Andrew Scott
      Nov 22, 2018
      You will, Ros - the maturation of humanity is happening here and now: https://bahaiteachings.org/finding-spiritual-courage-take-climate-change