21 Jun
2012
Posted in: Editorial, Promulgation of Universal Peace
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The Nature of Unity

One of the first things often shared about the Bahá’í Faith is the principle of unity; children sing about it, junior youth try to understand it, and young and old alike join together in study circles to learn how to create it. Unity is the ultimate goal of the community-building process they are all engaged in.

The Journey West team discussed the various types of unity in a recent podcast, and wrote about its different levels. Many other important principles of the Faith are important because without them, unity would not exist. For example, the equality of men and woman is indispensable to it. And peace is intimately related to unity (here, here and here).

Unity is the very reason for the existence of, well, everything, even at the atomic level: “It is shown in creation that the cause of existence is unity and cohesion and the cause of nonexistence is separation and dissension.” Because of this essential unity, creation was brought into existence. The same rules apply at the level of the individual, as “unity among even these material elements mean life in the body of man, and their discord and disagreement mean death”. This is applicable to both the physical and the spiritual. Similarly, the spiritual existence of a community is based on unity and cohesion. In such a community, the people “will be as the parts and members of one body. The spirit of life manifest in that body will be one spirit. The foundation of that temple of unity will be one foundation. Each will be a stone in that foundation, solid and interdependent. Each will be as a leaf, blossom or fruit upon one tree.”

If unity is the very cause of life, it only stands to reason that the causes of disunity, aka death, can be equated to being metaphorically satanic. The biggest reason why an individual would act in such ways as to create disunity is the self. So dangerous is this self that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states: “everything which conduces to separation and estrangement is satanic because it emanates from the purposes of self”.

What He wishes for us is a blinding contrast: “I hope that […] the spirit of God shall so penetrate your hearts that each one of the beloved of God […] may become a cause of unity and center of accord and all mankind be bound together in real fellowship and love.” It comes to no surprise, then, that with the creation of such bonds, peace is inevitable.

Photo by Sholeh Loehle, www.nineteenmonths.com

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