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Science

The Human Body and the Body Politic

David Langness | Aug 24, 2014

PART 4 IN SERIES The Science of Love and Affinity

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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David Langness | Aug 24, 2014

PART 4 IN SERIES The Science of Love and Affinity

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Long before the invention of electron microscopes or modern sub-atomic physics allowed us to peer into nature’s smallest places, the Baha’i writings pointed out that you could see the macrocosm in the microcosm:

Nature is subjected to an absolute organization, to determined laws, to a complete order and a finished design, from which it will never depart — to such a degree, indeed, that if you look carefully and with keen sight, from the smallest invisible atom up to such large bodies of the world of existence as the globe of the sun or the other great stars and luminous spheres, whether you regard their arrangement, their composition, their form or their movement, you will find that all are in the highest degree of organization and are under one law from which they will never depart. – Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 3.

Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to think about the whole of humanity in the same way we view each human being? Every individual person has a physical body that operates harmoniously. All of our cells and systems and organs and limbs work together to give us consciousness, intelligence, motion and life. In the same way, the Baha’i writings say, we have the power to unify the body politic—the entire human world—so it could function just as seamlessly and just as harmoniously:

The body politic may be likened to the human organism. As long as the various members and parts of that organism are coordinated and cooperating in harmony, we have as a result the expression of life in its fullest degree. When these members lack coordination and harmony, we have the reverse, which in the human organism is disease, dissolution, death. Similarly, in the body politic of humanity dissension, discord and warfare are always destructive and inevitably fatal. All created beings are dependent upon peace and coordination, for every contingent and phenomenal being is a composition of distinct elements. As long as there is affinity and cohesion among these constituent elements, strength and life are manifest; but when dissension and repulsion arise among them, disintegration follows. This is proof that peace and amity, which God has willed for His children, are the saving factors of human society, whereas war and strife, which violate His ordinances, are the cause of death and destruction. Therefore, God has sent His Prophets to announce the message of goodwill, peace and life to the world of mankind. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 98-99.

World OrganizationThe time has come, Baha’is believe, to unify the human world. Scientifically, we now understand the basis of unity, harmony and affinity in the life of the atom and the cell. With those organizational structures as organic models of cohesiveness and cooperation, and with the new healing spiritual message of Baha’u’llah as an example of what works in building interracial, intercultural and international unity, we now have the tools to begin creating a unified planetary structure. We can, for the first time in human history, build a world government that can help eliminate prejudice and hatred, create a livable and sustainable environment and bring about a lasting peace.

That visionary goal, as beautiful and compelling as it is, won’t be simple to reach. It will require enormous commitment and courage and sacrifice and heart. Each person who sees its beauty and believes it can happen will need to extend themselves toward it. But we can each, no matter how humble, play a part in its realization. Far beyond just dreaming it, we can make it happen.

When we reach for such a grand and powerful vision of human unity, when we commit ourselves to the love and affinity we feel for all humanity, our actions, day by day, become beautiful prayers for its achievement. Then, the very atoms of our beings live into the love that binds them together:

…we must strive with life and soul in order that day by day unity and agreement may be increased among mankind and that love and affinity may become more resplendently glorious and manifest. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 268.

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