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The mystery of oneness lives at the heart of creation.
Material and spiritual reality, counter-balancing parts of the same unified reality, are energized and held together by the same force that has the same influence upon the entire universe. This connective, creative energy, known as Love, the Great Spirit, Grace, or the Creator, is the unifying force expressed in every dimension of reality.
By its very nature, Reality cannot be more than one; it represents the absolute unity of all existence, the whole where the great diversity of all its parts find their place. One reality has forever directed our collective evolution toward the realization of this oneness. Spiritual forces have forever guided us toward unity.
Over the millennia, circles of unity have expanded; today, we know humanity is one family.
That knowledge means that a global transformation of consciousness is under way. The most formidable force of change now spreading throughout the world is global integration. Rapid and pervasive advances in communication technologies have opened new avenues of interaction among the world’s diverse populations; mass travel encircles the globe; and profound migrations of enormous numbers of the peoples of all continents have resulted in the intermingling of the world’s cultures as citizens of a single homeland. As the Baha’i writings confirm, all these circumstances of the past century have had an unprecedented transformative impact on global consciousness:
World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end … A world, growing to maturity, must recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once and for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life. – Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 202.
The recognition of the oneness of humanity is sustained by the unifying vision of a peaceful, prosperous world society in which social justice and universal human rights are upheld as the primary values. Education toward this understanding has been the missing dimension of the process to promote universal respect, harmony, and unity between all people.
Beyond political peace, world unity is the goal. Unity on the global scale is the divine remedy and the mightiest instrument for the healing of the world. Unity defines both the nature of who we are as individual human beings and what we are made for as humanity.
The strongest spiritual force of our time is unity.
But unity is more than a mere sense of common purpose, or mutual goodwill. Unity is the force most characteristic of the creative power of the Creator; it is the primary influence driving the progress of civilization, its moral codes, its social and political institutions, its artistic works, technological achievements, and material prosperity. Unity is the power through which humanity’s lofty goals will be progressively realized.
The opposite force–disunity–cripples society’s progress, and is a fundamental cause of the world’s ills. In the midst of our shared illness, it may appear that the collective will or urge to change anything is missing. But unity is a condition of the human spirit. It is in our DNA. It constitutes the very nature of who and what we are.
Unity is not uniformity or sameness. Unity is harmony with difference. Unity co-exists with difference. Diversity is a fact of life, and always will be. The goal is unity in diversity, or unity with the diversity that exists everywhere. The principle of unity in diversity seeks to broaden the base of society and remold its underlying values and its institutions to keep up with the needs of an ever-changing world.
Unity is a prerequisite for peace, as Baha’u’llah has confirmed:
The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 286.
All the world’s spiritual and religious traditions look forward to some form of “a new heaven and a new earth.” They all cherish the hope and desire for peace on Earth. The most recent of these sacred traditions, the Baha’i Faith, boldly asserts that world peace is not only a promise waiting to be fulfilled, but is also inevitable.
This does not mean we sit back and watch. Rather, this Baha’i view renews hope, affirms the eventual outcome, acknowledges a purpose to these turbulent and chaotic times, and raises a call to action.
With this vision of the future, and knowing that the human race will not be obliterated, we must take on our responsibility as proactive midwives to shorten this painful transition period we’re now in, and bring about a gentle as possible rebirth of our planet. We can vitally assist this process with our own sacred activism every day of our lives, applying the wisdom, practices, and tools already available to us.
If we act accordingly, the fruits of our labors will be realized, as world unity followed by world peace gradually becomes the next stage in the evolution of the planet. The ultimate outcome is inevitable; how and when we get to that desired outcome depends on us.