Baha'is under the Provisions of the Covenant (BUPC)

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Tenth Baha'i Principle is A Spiritual Solution to the Economic Problems of the World

The tenth foundation stone, the Chrysoprasus, is like opaque Chrysolyte, a clear green which embodies truthfulness, justice, sincerity and purity, and these are the requisites necessary for the solution of all economic problems-- the Golden Rule--"Do unto others as Ye would have that they do unto you."
There is no cut and dried system of economics. Bahá'u'lláh establishes certain principles and leaves it to us to build the structure. There is a danger of the popular term "new world order" conjuring up a picture of something for nothing, of state supported individuals enjoying all the advantages of prosperity without any adequate contribution of hard work or service. Bahá'u'lláh requires every-one to work, no idle rich and no idle poor.

The most despised of men before God is he who sits and begs. ... The best men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.

The tragic story of modern waste is now commonplace. Fruit rotting on the trees and vines, sugar falling from wharves into the sea, wheat being burned. Millions underfed and in need of these things. Railways and ships being left idle. Producers anxious to sell and workers eager to gather and despatch. But the destruction of food, and starvation, face each other across the world, even across the very same c country! Thus in spite of the fact that 'laissez faire' and unrestricted competition give way to socialization and cooperation, the basis of prosperity is still individual effort, hard work and independence.

... it is incumbent on everyone to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth to men of understanding! " " Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire."

The weird and wonderful devices advocated to stimulate buying power brings wealth only back onto the wealthy. Future generations looking back at this period, must be forever amazed at a generation which could capture a beam from Arcturus to light the opening of the World's Fair and at the same time tolerate the poverty and misery of millions in the midst of an overwhelming plenty, a generation which spends a huge proportion of its wealth on war.

The fundamentals of the whole economic structure are Divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit.

Although the body politic is one family, yet because of lack of harmonious relations some members are comfortable and some in direct misery, some members are satisfied and some members are hungry, some members are clothed in most costly garments and some families in need of food and shelter. Why? Because this family (of mankind) lacks the necessary reciprocity and symmetry . This household is not well arranged. This household is not living under a perfect law. All the laws which are legislated do not insure happiness. They do not provide comfort. Therefore a law must be given to this family by means of which all the members will enjoy well being and happiness."

Reciprocity and symmetry, these are the needs of the new social order. Cooperation must replace unbridled competition and planned economic system must take the place of the present muddle. This is the real economic problem, that in an age when cooperation is needed in human affairs, principles which served mankind successfully during the age of competition, are still upheld and regarded as inviolate. They are lamentably effete as shown by results.

Tariffs, currency manipulation, monopoly of raw materials, low wages, these are the great saboteurs of world prosperity. But they are only agents, the real monster is economic self-sufficiency. Nearly every nation, or groups of nations, has tried to practice this, and has gloried in what it believed to be its ability to be self-supporting. At the same time every effort has been made to keep up "foreign" trade, that is to sell the other man something without buying anything in return.

Economic self-sufficiency is born of fear and selfishness and leads straight to war. In this modern world all people are in need of each other, can supply each other's wants, and by the reciprocal action of buying and selling, contribute to an increasing standard of living. This is provided of course that the results of labor are equitably shared, and not concentrated in the hands of a minority. And the basis of equity must be universal, otherwise some nations will undersell all the others by using cheaper labor, and that will start the same old round again of nations will undersell all the others by labor, and that will start the same old tariffs, and etc.....

The economic problem, like every major difficulty facing us today, is insoluble except on a world scale. We can not have poverty in one country and prosperity in the rest, the Atlantic Charter recognizes this. Neither can we cure poverty and unemployment in one country alone, it is a world problem.

A spiritually united body can solve the economic problem once given the authority to set the world's standards. It can remove the barriers to international trade which result from the attempts of nations to be self-sufficient. It can liberate the energies now devoted to war for service to the arts of peace, and it can provide the necessary machinery for an easier and greater interchange of goods and services. Such things as a world currency, a world bank, a single system of weights and measures would come within its Charter. It must maintain free access to the raw materials of the planet, and protect the rights of all peoples. Maintain a universal minimum standard of living, and limit the economic power of individuals.

God is not partial and is no respecter of persons. He has made provisions for all. The harvest comes forth for everyone. The rain showers upon everybody and the heat of the sun is destined to warm everyone. Therefore there should be for all humanity the utmost happiness, the utmost comfort, the utmost well-being.

Ninth Baha'i Principle is Universal Compulsory Education

The ninth foundation stone, the Topaz, the glory of the sun, is symbolical of the light of knowledge and the glory of wisdom, which universal education will establish in the world when the golden Topaz, the light of the teachings of Baha'u'llah, is understood and lived.

Education is one of the most important factors in the evolution of humanity. Only one department of life is more potent, and that is religion. In epochs characterized by religious zeal and piety, religion and education work hand in hand. Together they constitute a single unifying, inspirational, guiding force which coordinates all human thought and expression within a traditionally accepted pattern. In such periods education serves what is in reality its most basic purpose, the training of character. Education not change characters, which are all different, but it assist them to develop to their utmost capacity.

The Prophets also acknowledge this opinion, to wit: That education hath a great effect upon the human race, but they declare that minds and comprehension's are originally different. And this matter is self-evident; it cannot be refuted. we see that certain children of the same age, nativity and from the same household, under the tutor ship of one teacher, differ in their minds and comprehension's. No matter how much the shell is polished, it can never become the radiant pearl. The balance stone will not become the world illumining gem.... That is to say, training doth not change the Human substance, but it produces a marvelous effect. By this effective power all that is registered, in latency, of virtues and capacities in the human reality will be revealed. It is for this reason that, in this new cycle, education and training are recorded in the Books of God as obligatory and not voluntary.

Modern civilization has been stirred to its depths by this new principle. Compulsory education for children, and the extension of education facilities for adults, have become a new primary policy of government. Nations which deliberately seek to restrict the independence of mind and spirit among their citizens, by that very policy have aroused revolution within and suspicion and fear outside their boundaries. Bahá'u'lláh had two great world aims, to build up a spiritually regenerate humanity, and to establish a functionally united world. To both of these aims education is intrinsic.

Baha'u'llah gave great prominence to education in delineating the structure of the future World Society. It is chiefly through educative influences that we must build up an ideology and loyalty consecrated to the goal of world peace. Only through education of youth and adult can the adverse and chaotic elements which now compose human society be guided and fused into that dynamically functioning world unity which we now have come to believe is the keystone of the arch of human progress.

Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess.

Literacy is only the barest foundations for education, not education itself. First and foremost, as a means towards world unity and world-federation, youth must be trained in wider and nobler values than at present. The loyalties to family, tribe, clan, and nation which have gradually evolved in human society are not enough to satisfy the wider horizons and needs of today. There must be a new and more universal loyalty to mankind itself as a whole, a "one -world" zeal and dedication. Loves of family, of clan, of nation are praiseworthy and will continue to hold their legitimate place in the social pattern. But unless and until a greater love is bred in humans, love of one's world, a United Nations can not successfully function.

Conversely, it may be stated that no system of education in the future will satisfactorily spiritualize its curriculum until it is able to harmonize religion with science. Baha'u'llah made it one of the major principles of the New World Order. He envisaged, this harmonization taking place, and the spiritual factors of human existence being taught in a scientific way.

A deep respect for law will be engendered in each citizen by inculcation of spiritual values. In fact, law it-self rests ultimately upon spiritual foundations. Had we no spiritual training we should be unaware of Justices, Mercy and Wisdom. Our juvenile delinquency problem, our divorce problem, our crime problem, all witness the lack of stress in spiritual character building in our educational systems. Through education by such spiritual training, a character would be formed more capable of meeting the strains and temptations of life. Becoming more resolute in enterprise, more fertile in creative imagination, more responsible to the calls of duty, more worthy and capable as a true citizen of world democracy.

We must promote worldly, by every means within our power, the material as well as spiritual enlightenment of the youth. The means for the education of children, to provide the best means for their progress and development, is incumbent upon the world of mankind. It becomes not only progress towards world unity, but is the brightest outlook for the future generations of children. They shall possess a common knowledge of all things, illiteracy shall disappear, moral and spiritual worthiness strengthened, and oneness achieved through the education of all.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Eighth Baha'i Principle is Universal Peace upheld by a Spiritual World Government

The eighth foundation stone, the Beryl, is greenish-blue; somewhat like the ocean wave as it mounts toward its crest; the blue of the faith and loyalty toward our brother man, the green of humility and unity, the harmonious blending into one symmetrical whole, like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This, established in the hearts of man, will also establish Universal Peace.

The world longs for peace. But none of its respective nations, not even America is prepared to relinquish nationalism to the extent which Bahá'u'lláh pointed out would be necessary in an effective world organization.

Two mandatory considerations are still withheld from fulfillment in the United Nations. The first is the relinquishment of national sovereignty to the point of accepting without right of veto the adjudications of a world court. The second inevitable requirement of stable peace is national disarmament down to the point of internal security only, and the establishment of an international police force. The world is not yet ready for these two momentous steps. Nor can they be accomplished without due caution.

World peace is not merely a matter to be arranged between governments by treaties. It is the concern of every citizen of this one-world home of humanity. This is the point of exercising our free will to avoid that nullification of progress, that race annihilation that threatens us.

The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.

The abolition of war is to be only the first step in a colossal plan for a world organized in effective unity. Fully functioning as a federated unit, and dedicated to the establishment of a universal civilization founded on justice and good will. Expressing itself in forms of prosperity, beauty, and joy-of-living more glorious than even the world's great poets and seers have envisioned and conceived.

The miracle of the rapid growth of a will-to-peace throughout the world is directly concomitant with the development of new and terrifying death-dealing military weapons. War on the ground had always been tragically destructive. But war from the air, on the scale recently attained, is too devastating for humanity to endure.

.... instrumentations of warfare would become so deadly and all-destructive as to eventually compel humanity to desist from war entirely.

There exists today that which did not exist in 1870, therefore the world, in 1870, gave little heed to the proclamations of Bahá'u'lláh. It overlooked one item which would eventually induce a desperate search for permanent peace, changing world events. These world events have proved the truth of this prognostication. Sadly enough, it is not idealism which is at last inducing humanity to outlaw war. It is not the moral sense but the fear of race annihilation which under entirely new and unexpected conditions, forces governments to entertain new and unexpected convictions and goals. Human nature may not greatly change, as the cynics maintain. But the directives of human activity often change, and never are they more potently active than today. So that now there exists a universal will to avoid war which is equivalent to a universal will-to-peace.

Peace is not something we fall into because we react against war. Peace is a positive achievement involving an organized world community of law and order which we must want so much that we are willing to pay the full price it costs.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

The world order of Baha'u'llah is a goal which we can visualize in outline, and towards which we may strive. It is no magic millennium which will result from some particular political or economic action. It is founded on the spiritual concept of the oneness of mankind and raises a structure by which this unity may be preserved and developed. "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens" is its principle.


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Seventh Baha'i Principle is The Removal of all Prejudice, Religious, Racial, Political, etc.

The seventh foundation stone, the "pure Chrysolite," is an exquisitely clear, slightly tinted green. We read in the ancient philosophies of the Chrysolite Tablet; it is the symbol of absolute sincerity and truthfullness, purity and selflessness. Only when our hearts are free from every form of prejudice can they become the "chrysolite tablet" whereon can be engraved our thoughts and motives.

Harmony and fellowship between peoples and nations is a necessary foundation for universal peace and world federation. So important, in fact, is this factor of friendship that Baha'u'llah in all preachments concerning the New World Order insisted on the elimination of prejudices of all kinds, whether religious, racial, patriotic, or political.

All warfare and bloodshed in human history have been the outcome of prejudice. This earth is one home and one nativity. God has created mankind with equal endowment and right to live upon the earth. Racial prejudice or separation into nations proceeds from human motives or ignorance. Why should we be separated by artificial and imaginary boundaries? This is one globe, one land, one country.

The roots of prejudice are deep seated in man's biological and emotional nature. Primitive man shares with animals the instinctive aversion to everything different and foreign. Civilization has broadened the horizons of men's minds and consciousness and has gradually brought all areas of the world into contact, so that foreigness "per se" is almost a thing of the past. But civilization by merely secular means has not proved itself capable of eliminating prejudice. As one source of prejudice dies down another source may spring up as the interest and desires of various groups come into apparent conflict with one another. Yet if humanity is to attain to organizational unity, to that 'WORLD ORDER' which we are beginning to envision not only a desirable but an inevitable goal if humanity is to survive, then somehow prejudice must be disposed of.

Since prejudice is a negative quality, a weed flourishing in our soils, what is needed is a positive and constructive treatment. Those things which conduce to unity will of themselves drive out prejudice. A fuller understanding of the economic and cultural interrelationship and interdependence of various nations and areas of the world will help to stimulate the awareness of the need of world unity.

Close your eyes to racial differences and welcome all with the light of oneness. We desire but the good of the world and happiness of nations; that all nations should become one in faith and all men be as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race annulled .... Is not this that which Christ foretold?

Bonds of affection and unity are not established governments of legislative agencies of any kind. Even cultural reciprocity, while it nurtures enlightenment and dispels that fog of ignorance which has been stated to be the denest of all matter, does not engender affection. Mere absence of prejudice will not suffice. What is needed is the presence of an ardent constructive force such as only love can contribute. The opposite of hatred is lot the absence of this quality, but the activating presence of Love. Nothing else will suffice.

The natural field for developing a wholesome emotional attitude is in youth. In this field we see not only an increase in effort, but an increase in results. Adults have to be reconverted, reconditioned. It is a slow and difficult process. But youth can more easily be educated into new channels of perception and emotional reaction. And the earlier such education begins the more stable and advantageous the results.

Prejudice consists not only in preconceived ideas, but in obstinate attachment to outworn beliefs, methods, and institutions. Dogmatism and infatuation with our own theories impede the establishment of universal peace just as much as other prejudices. Abandonment of prejudice, therefore, implies not only a change in attitude, but a change in the social, economic and political structure of the world.

And among the teachings of Baha'u'llah is that religious, racial, political, economic and patriotic prejudices destroy the edifice of humanity. As long as these prejudices prevail, the world of humanity will have no rest.... Therefore, even as was the case in the past, the world of humanity cannot be saved from the darkness of nature, and cannot attain illumination, except through the abandonment of prejudices and the acquisition of the morals of the Kingdom.

Baha'u'llah includes among superstitions all those beliefs which have no foundation in fact, such as essential race superiority. It is obvious that their falsehood will be exposed upon investigation. But exposing false ideas is not sufficient to remove prejudice. A prejudice, predisposition or attitude has an emotional content, and emotions react only very slowly to reason. A new emotional stimulus, such as that provided by religion, is required to pry the patient free from his prejudice.

The abandonment of prejudices calls for nothing less than the relinquishing of the emotional attitudes aroused superstitiously in us during childhood. Such a process is painful. Only an utterly "radiant acquiescence" with the principle of Oneness, and all that it implies, can free us from these prejudices.

This handful of dust the earth is but one home; let it be in unity.



The Return of Christ

As the Bab gave his life so that Baha'u'llah should live, Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha gave their lives that the Davidic lineage should last for ever as the Presidents of the true Universal House of Justice of Baha'u'llah. The line of David has continued safe in America from the days of the Master's visit to that continent in 1912 when he rested for a day in the Rocky Mountains and where God has established his seed for ever.