Abdu'i-Baha on Darwinism

takes the sword out of nature’s hand and with it for his scepter of authority dominates nature itself. 24

However, although liberation from captivity to the laws of external nature is one necessary aspect of human freedom, true freedom requires that human beings be freed from the bondage of the internal nature. This liberation from the internal nature is freedom from the control of the law of the struggle for existence so that human beings can think and act as a human being. In fact, if the progress of science and technology is not accompanied with liberation from the internal nature, human science itself turns into an instrument of human enslavement, genocide of others, destruction of the environment, and the termination of human life on planet earth. Therefore, human technical reason must be accompanied with his spiritual reason. Such harmony leads to true freedom and the real birth and advent of human beings. In the words of ‘Abdu’l -Baha: And among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is man’s freedom, that through the ideal Power he should be free and emancipated from the captivity of the world of nature; for as long as man is captive to nature he is a ferocious animal, as the struggle for existence is one of the exigencies of the world of nature. This matter of the struggle for existence is the fountain-head of all calamities and is the supreme affliction. 25 [T]he world of mankind is in need of the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Without the spirit the world of mankind is lifeless, and without this light the world of mankind is in utter darkness. For the world of nature is an animal world. Until man is born again from the world of nature, that is to say, becomes detached from the world of nature, he is essentially an animal, and it is the teachings of God which convert this animal into a human soul. 26 ‘Abdu’l -Baha not only relates war and aggression to prejudice, he emphasizes the fact that struggle for existence among human beings is nothing other than various forms of prejudice. In other words, humans are cultural beings and not a mere natural entity. However, when this human culture is the culture of prejudice, it becomes the culture of the struggle for existence, which is the reduction of human beings to the level of brutish beasts. He states: In every period war has been waged in one country or another and that war was due to either religious prejudice, racial prejudice, political prejudice or patriotic prejudice. It has therefore been ascertained and proved that all prejudices are destructive of the human edifice. As long as these prejudices persist, the struggle for existence must remain dominant, and bloodthirstiness and rapacity continue. 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. 27 The worldview of ‘Abdu’l -Baha distinguishes between a materialist culture, characterized by promotion of an identity that is filled with various kinds of prejudice, and a spiritual and mystical culture, which encourages a global and universal orientation. Unlike the materialist culture, a true spiritual approach prescribes universal love and service for all peoples of the world. Throughout human history, human 24 Ibid, pp. 50-1. 25 ‘Abdu’l -Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l -Baha . Haifa: Baha’i World Center, 1978, P. 302. 26 Ibid, pp. 303-4. 27 Ibid, p. 299.

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