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In my dream last night my daughter and I heard loud and ominous rumblings outside. We hurried out in our bare feet, and in horror, looked up at the hills.
We saw an enormous and ostentatious mansion just above our house teetering on its foundation. The earth beneath it was preparing to give way, and we saw that the mansion’s foundation had begun to crumble. As the huge home started to tumble toward us my daughter asked, “Which way should we run?”
I grabbed her hand and said, “This way!” We ran down the street to the left and as we were running I remembered a powerful Baha’i prayer to be recited in times of calamity and natural disasters. I said it aloud:
Soon we realized that we had chosen to run in the right direction, and had gotten clear of the destruction. We then found ourselves in a type of steel shelter. There were kind and compassionate people inside that had provisions for a short sojourn, and we knew we would be safe for this brief period.
I looked through the windows at large condos and homes nearby that were many stories high. I noticed that there were huge cracks going down their walls. I knew these homes would also come down very soon. The residents sat out on their balconies, looking on as if nothing was happening, even as homes around them crumbled and slid down the surrounding hillsides. I wondered: Why couldn’t they see that their homes would break apart next?
At the rather small shelter, our loving hosts prepared us for the move to greater safety. I looked down and saw that my feet were no longer bare—someone had given me shoes when I hadn’t noticed. I was grateful for this kindness, and realized that some sweet woman had sacrificed her shoes for me. We were then told that in a few hours we would be transported to a large farm where others were waiting, and where we would be safe.
Then I woke up from the vivid and harrowing dream and thought about what it might mean. I said a Baha’i prayer:
I beseech Thee, by the potency of Thy will and the compelling power of Thy purpose, to make of what Thou didst reveal unto me in my sleep the surest foundation for the mansions of Thy love that are within the hearts of Thy loved ones, and the best instrument for the revelation of the tokens of Thy grace and Thy loving-kindness. – Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 125.
The dream reminded me of the state of affairs in the world. It seemed to me that the mansion and the other crumbling homes symbolized the materialism, ignorance and prejudice affecting our planet. Much of the public seemed completely unaware as they watched the decay and devastation. They thought they could ignore it and just go on with their lives. It reminded me of another passage from the Baha’i teachings:
… the pride and vanity of certain of the peoples of the world have made havoc of true understanding, and laid waste the home of justice and of equity. – Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 76.
In my dream, though, that small group of spiritual, mindful people persisted. These people wanted to get us out to safety and usher us to a better place. I think that those people represented all the souls here on Earth who work toward a new world of global unity.
This world could be a world of peace and prosperity for all humanity, the dream made me realize. The people would come from all races and religions to live in absolute harmony:
The Great Peace towards which people of goodwill 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. — The Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, October 1985, p. 1.
The Baha’i teachings promise a future time of peace, when the oneness of humanity will be established, all the nations will come together, and all hearts will be connected:
In the divine Holy Books there are unmistakable prophecies giving the glad tidings of a certain Day in which the Promised One of all the Books would appear, a radiant dispensation be established, the banner of the Most Great Peace and conciliation be hoisted and the oneness of the world of humanity proclaimed. Among the various nations and peoples of the world no enmity or hatred should remain. All hearts were to be connected one with another.
These things are recorded in the Torah, or Old Testament, in the Gospel, the Qur’an, the Zend-Avesta, the books of Buddha and the book of Confucius. In brief, all the Holy Books contain these glad tidings. They announce that after the world is surrounded by darkness, radiance shall appear. For just as the night, when it becomes excessively dark, precedes the dawn of a new day, so likewise when the darkness of religious apathy and heedlessness overtakes the world, when human souls become negligent of God, when materialistic ideas overshadow spirituality, when nations become submerged in the world of matter and forget God–at such a time as this shall the divine Sun shine forth and the radiant morn appear. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 220-221.
Though alarming, my dream gave me hope that while the world now experiences a precarious time in our history, there are many loving and consciously enlightened souls coming together to work toward universal peace. I believe that if we turn away from the decay of materialism and prejudice, turn our eyes to the true teachings of God in all the Holy Books, and lovingly work toward the unity of all mankind, we will find our way home.