Nineteenth Reflection

kinds of prejudice, and see all humans as one sacred family. The three false gods are defined precisely by a materialistic logic which sees the world as the realm of the beasts governed by the principle of struggle for existence. Wars, colonialism, oppression of others, and militarism become the necessary outcomes of such idols. Racism wants to exploit other humans for the interests of an imaginary superior race, whether is it against the blacks, Jews or other groups. Militant nationalism sees itself superior to other nations and finds enslavement and plundering of other nations a heroic virtue. The communist state sees itself as the embodiment of an exclusive truth, a truth that is exemplified in the communist party, which must obliterate resistance of the counterrevolutionaries, bourgeoisie, capitalist states, and enemies of the people. What is common to all these idols is that they reduce the identity of humans to particularistic biological or social characteristics. Such reduction creates a moral double standard and various forms of prejudice. The consequence of these prejudices are the dominance of war, militarism, exploitation, coercion and genocide in human societies. World war II was a frightening realization of the dominance of these three false gods. Opposed to these particularistic philosophies which separate people from each other, Shoghi Effendi presents the philosophy and the message of the true God, the God of all prophets of the past, the God of the new revelation of Baha’u’llah, in these words: Contrasting with, and irreconcilably opposed to, these war-engendering, world-convulsing doctrines are the healing, the saving, the pregnant truths proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh, the Divine Organizer and Savior of the whole human race—truths which should be regarded as the animating force and the hallmark of His Revelation: “The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” “Let not a man glory in that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.” And again: “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.” “Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply … all mankind may become the upholders of one order, and the inhabitants of one city.… Ye dwell in one world, and have been created through the operation of one Will.” “Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body.” And yet again: “All the saplings of the world have appeared from one Tree, and all the drops from one Ocean, and all beings owe their existence to one Being.” And furthermore: “That one indeed is a man who today dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.”

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