The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
None of us can see into the future. Clearly, though, during the past century the world has moved rapidly toward greater integration, globalization and unity. The signs are everywhere and the trend line starkly obvious. Many futurists, pundits, social scientists and philosophers say that some form of world super-state, a nascent global government, a planetary phase of human development, has to inevitably occur.
The Baha’is agree.
With a process far from linear, and progress far from steady, the world will nevertheless one day witness, as the Universal House of Justice puts it:
…a development of historic importance: that point at which the majority of the world’s nation-states formally commit themselves to a global order comprising institutions and laws, and equipped with the means by which collective decisions can be enforced. – 29 July 1996.
Consider, for just a moment, what that might look like. Can you imagine it?
The world’s gates will open, and no needy mother, father or child will ever be turned away from a border again. We will fight no wars over land or resources or boundaries. The world in its limitless beauty will shelter all people, becoming the home of equity and equality for everyone. Hatred, rancor and violence will diminish, dissipate and then disappear. Building an environmentally- and socially-sustainable world civilization will mean that the natural and spiritual resources required for health and vitality become available to all the peoples and countries of the entire human community.
For this glorious vision to occur, for the world’s gates to truly open, humanity’s hearts have to open first. This enormous transition requires a spiritual commitment on the part of every person. Our world reflects us, and the conflict and agony and disunity it contains comes from within. So this transition to a unified world begins inside our individual souls. The Baha’i teachings envision it this way:
…the ages of darkness have passed away, and the century of light has come. Ignorant prejudices are being dispelled, and the light of unity is shining. The differences existing between nations and peoples will soon be annulled, and the fundamentals of the divine religions, which are no other than the oneness and solidarity of the human race, are being established. For thousands of years the human race has been at war. It is enough. Now let mankind, for a time at least, consort in amity and peace. Enmity and hatred have ruled. Let the world, for a period, exercise love. For thousands of years the nations have denied each other, considering each other as infidel and inferior. It is sufficient. We must now realize that we are the servants of one God, that we turn to one beneficent Father, live under one divine law, seek one reality and have one desire. Thus may we live in the utmost friendship and love, and in return the favors and bounties of God shall surround us; the world of humanity will be reformed; mankind, enjoy a new life; eternal light will illumine, and heavenly moralities become manifest.
For me, and for millions like me, no greater goal exists. This shining vision goes beyond the merely legalistic or the simply social; it transcends the temporal; it exceeds and excels the most farsighted utopian dreams of all the philosophers and political leaders of old. This golden goal, worthy of poets and prophets, truly has the power to inspire our souls:
It is daybreak, and from the rising-point of the invisible realms of God, the light of unity is dawning; and streaming and beating down from the hidden world of the Kingdom of oneness there cometh a flood of abounding grace. Glad tidings of the Kingdom are sounding from every side, and wafting in from every direction are the first morning signs of the exalting of God’s Word and the upraising of His Cause. The word of unity is spreading, the verses of oneness are being sung, the sea of God’s bestowals is tossing high its waves, and in plunging cataracts His blessings are pouring down. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 228-229.