In a talk delivered 20 April 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá joyously proclaimed the Oneness of Humanity, the essence of Bahá’u’lláh’s mission, and encouraged union between America and Persia. Although present day Iran is at odds with America, it would not be hard to reason that they would be better off cooperating. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explained that human nature requires continual cooperation and interaction in order for perpetual prosperity to reign. The two nations are in dire need of their prophesied symbiosis. The Master explained that Bahá’u’lláh was imprisoned in order to free the world from ignorance. In concurrence with this wisdom, science has shown us that we are all descended from the same bloodline. Race and nationality are temporary constructs that have long since served their purpose, and now stand as a hindrance in the new world order.
Above and beyond all this, a great love and fountain of affection shall bind and blend these two remote peoples, for Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed to the world the solidarity of nations and the oneness of humanity. Addressing all mankind He has said, “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the drops of one sea.” The world of humanity has been expressed by Him as a unit—as one family. It is, therefore, hoped that the American and Persian nations may be conjoined and united in reciprocal love. May they become one race endowed with the same susceptibilities. May these bonds of amity and accord be firmly established.
With the veil of ignorance inciting words, thoughts and acts of war between these two great nations, the whole world may now be in peril. Countless resources and hours are being poured into the gruesome mould of violent antagonism. In the ambiguity of age-old superstition, the idol of nationalism has been forged. The beautiful qualities of each nation are tainted by a blind allegiance to national mythology and a forgetfulness of the essential and selfless sacrifices that their nations were built on. America’s material civilization is in a spiritual crisis, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá guided those who would listen to help re-orient America to lovingly associate with Iran. Iran, in turn, has become decimated by inner turmoil and would benefit greatly from commercial interdependence and material development with Western powers. These two lands are so immersed in concepts of liberty and justice that it would be fitting that they resolve their apparent disagreement by transcending old standards.
Both civilizations sit on top of the foundation of world religions. One of the greatest lessons from these religions is the fact that Prophets of God transcend custom and tradition in a way that bring nations to a new level. Religion requires people to evolve and it is the underpinning of every great story of heroism cherished by these great powers. Past victories gained through sacrifice and courage herald a realisation that what was before does not compare to what exists now. Why else would so many people live in modernity? Something mysterious and beautiful tempts us out of the comfortable stagnant conditions of the past and opens glorious new worlds to us. Understanding in some way the purpose for progress may bring these two seemingly dissonant worlds into sweet harmony.
Photo by Lindsey Lugsch-Tehle, www.nineteenmonths.com