The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
The world conditions seem to worsen with every passing day. It’s hard to feel hopeful as we watch with horror the daily events transpiring on our planet. That said, Baha’is all over the world are very hopeful and excited about humanity’s future.
Yes, people are in pain, and things look dark. But the Baha’i teachings explain that humanity is experiencing increasingly severe labor pains as we also give birth to a new spiritual world civilization whose boundary will be the entire planet; whose foundation will be undeviating justice and unconditional love; whose solid principles will reflect the oneness of God, the oneness of mankind, the oneness of religion; whose watchword will be unity in diversity; and whose glory and majesty we cannot even imagine at the present time. Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, summarized it this way:
“Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.“
Death is birth — we can’t have one without the other. When a baby is born into this world, she “dies” with respect to the warm, comfortable mother’s womb where she happily lived for nine months. She leaves that life forever as she enters this life, having no idea this life even exists.
Likewise, the Baha’i teachings say, two simultaneous and parallel processes are occurring at this time in human history. Each affects the other; each is increasing at an accelerating rate.
The first process is disintegrative. Baha’is believe that disunity is the disease of our time. All the myriad problems we face, extremely grave though they are, are symptoms of this increasingly destructive disease. People everywhere sincerely try to the best of their abilities to resolve our countless problems. But unless they work together in unity and harmony, they arrive at conflicting solutions, creating even more disunity.
With this increasing disunity, it’s easy to observe that old beliefs, practices, traditions, and institutions are all dying. Ultimately, the Baha’i teachings say, those old principles need to fall by the wayside to make room for a new human reality:
“The call of Baha’u’llah is primarily directed against all forms of provincialism, all insularities and prejudices. If long-cherished ideals and time-honored institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine.“
The second process is integrative. Unity is the spirit of this new day! Due to advances in communication, transportation, technology, trade, and many other factors, all nations and peoples have become increasingly interdependent. Spiritually, the world is waking up to the biological fact of our oneness. No one has the power to stop this birthing process, just as no one has the power to stop the rising of the sun. The more we try to resist the integrative process, the greater the suffering that will be required to eventually bring us together in unity and harmony.
These twin processes are slowly, painfully bringing about the unity of the entire human race. Hopefully, humanity will not have to undergo immeasurably more severe suffering before we unite the entire human race.
We human beings — individually and collectively — must experience a dramatic total transformation in our consciousness, resulting in our becoming emotionally and spiritually mature world citizens. This will not happen overnight; it may take decades or even centuries of painful change and growth. But it must happen.
Ultimately, though, there will come a time when the entire human race will unite, resulting in the long-awaited kingdom of God on Earth. The Baha’i principles of oneness revealed by Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, will allow humankind to attain its glorious spiritual destiny:
“The whole earth is now in a state of pregnancy. The day is approaching when it will have yielded its noblest fruits, when from it will have sprung forth the loftiest trees, the most enchanting blossoms, the most heavenly blessings.“