Posted by: David Carlson | March 13, 2009

Baha’i Teachings on Political Process

In the contingent world there are many collective centers which are conducive to association and unity between the children of men.

For example,

  • patriotism is a collective center;

  • nationalism is a collective center;

  • identity of interests is a collective center;

  • political alliance is a collective center;

  • the union of ideals is a collective center,

and the prosperity of the world of humanity is dependent upon the organization and promotion of the collective centers.
Nevertheless, all the above institutions are, in reality, the matter and not the substance, accidental and not eternal—temporary and not everlasting.

With the appearance of great revolutions and upheavals, all these collective centers are swept away. But the Collective Center of the Kingdom, embodying the institutions and divine teachings, is the eternal Collective Center. It establishes relationship between the East and the West, organizes the oneness of the world of humanity, and destroys the foundation of differences. It overcomes and includes all the other collective centers.

Like unto the ray of the sun, it dispels entirely the darkness encompassing all the regions, bestows ideal life, and causes the effulgence of divine illumination. Through the breaths of the Holy Spirit it performs miracles; the Orient and the Occident embrace each other, the North and South become intimates and associates, conflicting and contending opinions disappear, antagonistic aims are brushed aside, the law of the struggle for existence is abrogated, and the canopy of the oneness of the world of humanity is raised on the apex of the globe, casting its shade over all the races of men.
Consequently, the real Collective Center is the body of the divine teachings, which include all the degrees and embrace all the universal relations and necessary laws of humanity.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 101)

Note: the original format of the above quote is a single paragraph. I broke it down to emphasize key phrases.
This specific Tablet was sent to Baha’is in the U.S. and Canada, dated March 8, 1917. In fact, it was not possible to send it from Haifa, Palestine until after the end of World War I, when the whole compilation of tablets was sent.

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