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Principles of the Baha’i Faith

The planetization of mankind

Circumpolar globe CC 2005 Flynn-Burhoe

Circumpolar globe CC Flynn-Burhoe

There are no ten commandments in the Baha’i Faith, however there are lists of principles that have been extrapolated from the Baha’i Holy Writings.

Bahá’í International Community

Currently on the Bahá’í World Web site, which represents the official presence of the Bahá’í Faith on the Internet and  is sponsored by the Bahá’í International Community, there is a shorter list of principles,  

At present, for example, the Baha’i International Community provides this list of principles Baha’is promote in order to achieve goals of the unification of the human family and the building of a peaceful, global society. Baha’is believe in the cumulative effect of successive revelations from God as the chief civilizing force in history.

In this stage of human evolution, what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called the “planetization of mankind,” ordinary people in the comfort of their own homes can view, reflect and interact at a planetary level, on the world’s crises and victories. The human race in the early 21st century are like teenagers with incredible potential, technology and resources but largely lacking in spiritual and moral maturity. Among the principles Bahá’ís promote to contribute to an ever-advancing civilization are,

The Promulgation of Universal Peace

In his 1992 publication entitled Baha”i Teachings for the New World Order, Mouhebat Sobhani described how the ten principles of the Baha’i Faith were extrapolated from talks given by Abdu’l-Baha during His teaching trip in North America in 1912 that were published in The Promulgation of Universal Peace.

Principles of the Baha’i Faith (Sobhani 1992:1)

Bahá’í Answers 1947

In 1947 Olivia Kelsey’s compilation was published which included a section entitled What are the guiding principles of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh as amplified and enunciated by Abdu’l-Bahá? The compilation “Bahá’í Answers by The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, Abdu’l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi” was approved by the reviewing committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada.

Practical effects and application to present world conditions: New Principles

Olivia Kelsey listed as references The Wisdom of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 117, The Mysterious Forces of Civilization, p. 74-79.

See also Unity in Diversity

Seven Candles of Unity

In her compilation Kelsey included this text by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Seven Candles of Unity,

“In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and the same continent association and interchange of thought were wellnigh impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable. In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one…. In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages have been deprived, for this century — the century of light — hath been endowed with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.”

“Behold how its light is now dawning upon the world’s darkened horizon. The first candle is unity in the political realm, the early glimmerings of which can now be discerned. The second candle is unity of thought in world undertakings, the consummation of which will erelong be witnessed. The third candle is unity in freedom which will surely come to pass. The fourth candle is unity in religion which is the corner-stone of the foundation itself, and which, by the power of God, will be revealed in all its splendour. The fifth candle is the unity of nations — a unity which in this century will be securely established, causing all the peoples of the world to regard themselves as citizens of one common fatherland. The sixth candle is unity of races, making of all that dwell on earth peoples and kindreds of one race. The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass, inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their realization.”(‘Abdu’l-Bahá “The Seven Candles of Unity.” in Shoghi Effendi. The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991 first pocket-size edition Pages: 206

This is a spiritual house, the home of the spirit. There is no discord here; all is love and unity. When souls are gathered together in this way, the divine bestowals descend. The purpose of the creation of man is the attainment of the supreme virtues of humanity through descent of the heavenly bestowals. The purpose of man’s creation is, therefore, unity and harmony, not discord and separateness. If the atoms which compose the kingdom of the minerals were without affinity for each other, the earth would never have been formed, the universe could not have been created. Because they have affinity for each other, the power of life is able to manifest itself, and the organisms of the phenomenal world become possible. When this attraction or atomic affinity is destroyed, the power of life ceases to manifest; death and nonexistence result. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá. 12 April 1912)

References

Principles of the Bahai Faith draft do not distribute

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