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A Holistic World View

The foundation of all that Bahá'u'lláh proposed is the consistency of the world view he delineated in his writings, maintaining that reality is what some futurists might today describe as systemic. Based on this holistic world view, he addressed fundamental social concerns and advanced his proposals for solving them.

He explained that all phenomena -- whether physical and spiritual, practical and ideal, individual and collective -- are determined by the universal principles of reality. In the same way that physical phenomena obey the laws of nature, there are also trends and tendencies in the flow of history, patterns within the evolution of civilization, ethical principles that determine which social and personal values promote the realization of human potentialities. All aspects of reality follow universal, objective principles -- i.e. as there are physical laws of nature, there are also historical and social and ethical and spiritual "laws of nature".

Of special interest and relevance are the implications of this systemic view on the way mankind's history is perceived. Bahá'u'lláh viewed history as a single evolutionary process -- an interpretation which constitutes the foundation for his call to a united humanity -- unity in diversity. "All men", he proclaimed, "have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization." In his view humanity is a single organic system which has evolved thorugh a process of maturation and gradual realization of its collective potentialities.

Bahá'u'lláh asserted that, since the human race is fundementally one, its potentialities and destiny are also one. These potentialities and destiny are to be found in a global society that can manifest the qualities of a collectively matured humanity. On the other hand, he made the principle of unity in diversity the watchword of all such endeavours -- that any attempt towards unification can be meaningful and sustainable only if it takes into its scope the diverse mentalities, world views and cultures prevailing in the world and enlists their invaluable contribution in the unfoldment of world civilization.

He said that history should be viewed as humanity's civilizational evolution during which various cultures and societies have each helped to realize some of the potentialities in the human race. He acknowledged that, despite its painful history, mankind has a natural tendency towards social cohesion and cooperation. It has gradually evolved from primitive self-sufficiency and independent smaller communities towards increasing interdependence, social organization, more complex forms of cooperation and, ultimately, a global civilization.

At first, this evolutionary process caused the unification of family clans into the tribal societies. After long periods, some filled with commotions and strife, its next stage was the formation of the city-state. Further, after a bloody history of invasions and imperial rule, national identity emerged and lead to the establishment of sovereign nation-states. Today, we have passed beyond the point where nation-state sovereignty can be the highest response to a prosperous organization of human affairs. Nationalism, as an isolated end in itself, has become now an essentially anarchistic force. Bahá'u'lláh emphasized that now has come the time to broaden that national loyalty to embrace the whole of humanity: "It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world."

Bahá'u'lláh emphasized that the present period of human history is singularly unique and has unprecedented potentialities: "Peerless is this Day, for it is as the eye to past ages and centuries, and as a light unto the darkness of the times". An indication of this uniqueness is that human evolution is, now for the first time in its history, assuming its global and planetary dimensions. He, moreover, asserted that this new global phase of history has been the object of the anticipations of mankind throughout history and that it is capable of producing the full realization of mankind's potentials: "The potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day ..." And further: "These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come".

Introductory pages:

  • Vision of a United Humanity, a brief exposition of the future of humankind.
  • Some fundamental social concerns, a selection of solutions presented by Bahá'u'lláh.
  • A unique system of governance, an outline of Bahá'í administrative principles.
  • A century of sytematic social experiment, a brief descpription of Bahá'í history.

    Online current materials:

  • The Promise of World Peace, a statement by the Universal House of Justice.
  • Who is Writing the Future?, a statement by the Bahá'í International Community.
  • The Prosperity of Humankind, a statement by the Bahá'í International Community.
  • Turning Point for All Nations, a statement by the Bahá'í International Community.

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